After all, it’s a book that contains 66 books! And each of those books often contain dozens of chapters. Plus the whole thing is broken out broadly into two “testaments” and broken down on a more granular level into “verses.”
And these are just the structural challenges. When you toss in the grand themes, the various literary styles, all the characters, and more, well, it can be a little overwhelming.
Still, for any true believer, becoming familiar with God’s Word is essential to a godly life and overall spiritual well-being.
Fortunately there are a variety of helps available that can make accessing the Bible and grasping key themes a little bit easier.
A good one is Believe: Living the story of the Bible to become like Jesus which has just been released by Zondervan.
The back cover copy describes the book, stating,
“Grounded in carefully selected Scripture, Believe, NIV is a unique spiritual growth experience 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.”
A big book breaking down a bigger book
The book is divided into three broad categories of ten chapters per category. These are:
- Beliefs: What do I believe?
- Practices: What should I do?
- Virtues: Who am I becoming?
However, for those who don’t own a Bible, own a Bible but not the NIV, or don’t like carrying around multiple books, the included scripture excerpts will be a plus.
Each chapter focuses on a single of aspect of Christian living such as church, prayer, spiritual gifts, self-control, and faithfulness.
Frazee offers clarifying commentary that introduces and ties together the excerpts.
Included at the end of the book are discussion questions for each chapter.
A good reference for new believers & others
Believe: Living the story of the Bible to become like Jesus is designed as a follow-up to The Story that was a resource and program several churches have taken advantage of in recent years. A website for Believe -- www.believethestory.com -- points to additional related tools being released throughout 2015.
This is a good resource for an extended small group study or for use by an individual. It is especially valuable for newer believers, or any believer wishing to better understand and live out their faith.
NOTE: To comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255): I selected this book to review and received it free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.