I believe, wholeheartedly, that the New Testament as we have in Christianity is exactly what God intended for us to have. Overall, though, that's a theology discussion for another day. I say that simply to address a complaint that may arise from my next statement: sometimes, the New Testament can be hard to follow.
At times, working through the New Testament is like reading a combination text of geography, narrative, and theology. This is because that is exactly what you have! In an effort to help our action-oriented society dig into the New Testament, you get a The Jesus Story: Everything that Happens in the New Testament in Plain English.
The Jesus Story is written by Dr. William H.Marty, a professor at Moody Bible Institute. (Well, really, the Jesus story is written by Matthew, Mark, and...you know.) He has written a couple of additional books, including The Whole Bible Story. I have not read that work, but this one looks like it is similar in concept.
Overall, Marty has done an excellent job lifting the narrative passages out of the New Testament and weaving just the action into a coherent unit. The Jesus Story walks from Bethlehem to Rome, covering John the Baptist's birth through the life of Christ, and ending with Paul in his Roman residence.
Marty then uses a synopsis of the Book of Revelation as an epilogue, a "this is where this ends up" summary. It makes for an excellent conclusion.
I find The Jesus Story handy, though I will admit to a prejudice for the actual New Testament. I think this is the kind of book that often us seminary-trained, church-all-our-life preacher types do not understand the value of, but someone who is not used to wading across chapter and verse to get the picture of what's happening in the Bible does. As such, I think this makes a great handout or gift book, especially in the current season headed toward Easter. It would also be great around Christmas.
Then, use it to leverage interest in reading the actual Bible--something I'm sure Marty agrees with as a goal. However, some folks won't touch the Bible out of a level of fear in terms of understanding. This is a great starting point instead.
(Note: I did receive a copy of this book in exchange for the review.)
The occasional thoughts of an ordinary man serving an extraordinary God. Come with me as we learn, teach, and laugh along the way.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Book: The Jesus Story: Everything that Happens in the New Testament in Plain English
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Sermon Recap for June 4
Good evening! Running late this week with civic responsibilities...here's the sermon recap from Sunday, June 4th!
Part I-Monday PM, sermon due for 3/8, PM Service First step should go without saying, but it will be mentioned, because it can't go with...
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