Wednesday, January 2, 2013

90 Days Thru the Bible (Book Review)

This book is a rare hybrid.  It is a 90 day devotional -- nothing uncommon about that.  And it is a Bible overview (again, nothing unusual -- most study Bible contain book introductions).  But the marriage of devotional to Bible overview is a surprisingly challenging relationship.  No wonder that so few attempt it.

It leads to proportions that seem strange: single-chapter Philemon gets the same amount of time (one day) that 34-chapter Deuteronomy does.  Some stories get entirely passed over.  And how can you adequately cover 150 Psalms in 5 days?

It gives us less facts about the arrangement and relationship of the pieces of the Bible than we would expect from an overview, and less application than we would expect from a devotional.  There is no bait from humorous stories, poems, or pithy statements like "Our Daily Bread" includes.  No pictures or charts.
But in a day when we have grown accustomed to adding spices to the Bible before we'll eat it, this book is a refreshing attempt to demonstrate that the Bible can stand alone as tasty and perfectly nourishing meal.  To continue the food analogy, some authors can teach you how to properly "cook" the Bible for yourself, while others provide TV dinners.  But this book is something like a prepared salad: fast, but healthy.  It requires chewing.  Congratulations to the author, Chris Tiegreen of Walk Thru the Bible, for achieving such a rare balance.

I got this book for free from Tyndale's Blog Network in exchange for writing this review, but my review was not required to be positive.

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