In the middle of doing the Through the Whole Bible series, I have a book to recommend. It’s titled Straight to the Heart of Genesis. It’s by Phil Moore and published by Monarch Books in the United Kingdom. Kregel Publications is the United States, and they provided the review copy I have been reading.
This book is part of the Straight to the Heart series that Moore is writing on most of the books or sections of the Bible. For example, he has written a Straight to the Heart of Moses to cover Exodus-Deuteronomy rather than individual volumes for each book. My wife will be reviewing his volume on Acts at her blog. I’m focused on the Genesis volume, seen here:
|Straight to the Heart of Genesis: 60 Bite-Sized Insights|
This book fits somewhere above being a simple devotional and somewhere below being an academic commentary. That’s neither slam nor praise: Moore’s intent is to hit that gap. It’s a good gap to hit. The goal is to provide a commentary that addresses some of the academic issues of the Bible text while also providing practical application for the passages.
Moore provides easy, single-sitting segments throughout the book of Genesis here. The sections run from three to five pages and are easy to grasp. Contemporary stories are used to illustrate the points presented.
Theologically, Moore makes many of the same assumptions that I do: he sees primary Mosaic authorship of the book of Genesis. I do as well. Moore sees the text as supporting a literal 6-day Creation, which I agree with as well. Further, Moore assumes that the text has more to say to us today than being a mere historical record. That, also, I agree with.
I found the book easily readable. It’s not overpopulated with big theology words or obscure references, which is a plus. The applications are clear enough without being overly specific. Over-specific applications are often the doom of a book like this: by being too specific, the audience is trimmed too small.
As with any other book, this is not perfect. Anytime you select excerpts from a Biblical text, there are parts that have to be left out, and this is no different. Some areas are summarized, such as Isaac and Rebekah’s story, where I would like to have seen more detail, but that’s to be expected.
In conclusion, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. My predisposition was to expect that a Cambridge education would have given Moore a liberal bent on the text, that he would have dismissed the literal meaning of the words to make a distant point.
Instead, what I see here is a valuable tool for believers wanting to understand Genesis a little better. I have no qualms with recommending this book.
I did receive a copy of this book for free in exchange for the review. It was provided by Kregel without any requirement of a positive review.