Saturday, October 30, 2010

Book Review: A Year with God

So, I got my next Booksneeze book for review.  It's a devotional book, a year's worth of reading.  Ann asked if I had to take the whole year before I could review it….we decided not.

This book is A Year with God by R.P. Nettlehorst:

A Year with God

The premise of this devotional book is to take the parts of Scripture that are direct quotes of God and present devotional thoughts from those parts.  It's an interesting premise.  While a conservative like myself would find that all of Scripture is God's Word, it is interesting to study the direct quotes.

The layout of this book is the traditional yearly devotional layout: each page has a portion of Scripture, and a devotional thought based on that portion.  The table of contents is organized by subject, and the order of the entries is also subject grouped.

I'd say this is a strength for the table of contents, but a slight weakness for the book order.  True, I'm nitpicking here, but I would like this book a little better had the "Mercy and Judgment" "Faith and Doubt" "Hope and Fear" "Perseverance and Quitting" sections been interspersed throughout for an annual read, since we struggle with all of those at various times.  Then, with the table of contents divided by subject, you could use it as a reference to find specific subject.

That's not to say it's a bad book.  It seems on first glance to be well done, and generic enough to allow the Spirit of God to work through both the Scripture passages and the devotional thoughts of the author.  This is a strength: there are some devotional books that are perhaps too specific, focusing on one type of person or one phase of life, and it's not useful to anyone else.  I can easily see this book being valuable year in and year out.

Also a strength is the effort to use enough of Scripture to provide good context, rather than one verse then ripped from its moorings and applied however the author saw fit.  Instead, there is some effort to provide context and original placement.  Not too much, so you'll still need a study Bible or something of that sort to help answer those questions.

All told, if you're looking for a devotional book to give as a gift for this year, you'll do well with this one.  The binding seems strong enough to hold up to daily use, although you'll have to ask in about a year to know for sure.  I would say this to Thomas Nelson, though: get this book on Kindle!  There's a good market of people that use their Kindles for daily devotional readings (or their Kindle apps), and this would be a good addition to it.


4 stars out of 5.

Read Disclosures! if you want more details than this: Free book from publisher, free review from Doug, no influence, no money.



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