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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Believe (Book Review)

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book, at no cost to me, for review purposes.  I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions in this post are my own.

The back cover of Believe:  Living the Story of  the Bible to Become More Like Jesus, from General Editor Randy Frazee and Zondervan, begins with this statement:  It's one thing to know the story of the Bible.  It's another thing to live it.

This is so true!  I have been working through a discipleship study workbook, but its greatest value is in the discussion with a small group.  Believe covers some of the same content--and more--in a way that would work for an individual reader or a small group.

This is the rest of the text from the back cover:
Grounded in carefully selected Scripture, Believe, NIV is a unique spiritual growth experiences that takes you on a journey to think, act, and be more like Jesus.  General editor and pastor Randy Frazee walks you through the ten key Beliefs of the Christian faith, the ten key Practices of a Jesus-follower, and the ten key Virtues that characterize someone who is becoming more like Jesus.
  • What do I believe?
  • What should I do?
  • Who am I becoming?
Each chapter uses short topical passages from the clear and accessible New International Version to help you live the story of the Bible.  As you journey through this Bible, whether in a group or on your own, one simple truth will become undeniably clear:  what you believe drives everything.
Believe is divided into three major sections:
  • Think:  What Do I Believe?
  • Act:  What Should I Do?
  • Be:  Who Am I Becoming?
Each section contains ten chapters.  Think explains basic tenets of the Christian faith, such as what we believe about God, salvation, the Bible, and eternity.  Act tells of our practices:  worship, prayer, total surrender, spiritual gifts, and more.  Finally, Be covers traits such as love, joy, peace, and humility.

Each chapter begins with a Key Idea and a Key Verse.  For example, the chapter on God starts with "I believe the God of the Bible is the only true God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."  The verse is 2 Corinthians 13:14:  "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."

Following that, the chapter includes about ten short paragraphs, separated by Scripture verses that support the principles explained.  For example, this opens the chapter on God:
Everything begins with God.  The Bible never seeks to defend the existence of God.  It is assumed.  God has revealed himself so powerfully through his creation--both at the macro and micro level--that at the end of the day, no one will have an excuse for not putting their trust in him.
That is supported by the text of Genesis 1:1, Psalm 19:1-4, and Romans 1:20.

The chapter unfolds with paragraphs and passages that develop the concept.  

My take:  I would liken Believe to a guided tour through these topics of the Bible.  The explanatory paragraphs lead the reader from point to point; they provide transitions and explanations.  The book is very readable.

I recommend this book for a new Christian or for a Christian who seeks some help in explaining the basics of the faith.  It's only valuable to someone who believes in the authority of the Bible; otherwise the supporting passages wouldn't mean anything.

Believe is also available in a storybook, a DVD study for adults, curriculum for children, and versions for kids and students.  I have not seen these products.

Links for more information:
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

1 comment :

  1. This sounds great!
    I need something like this, I know my beliefs, but I need help with scripture.


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