Monday, August 14, 2017

The Whole Bible Story - A Review






The Whole Bible Story

Whole Bible Story Cover.jpg

by
William H. Marty

A Review
The story, not the text, of scripture, is the focus of this book. The story is well-written and will assist the student to understand the events which provide the foundation upon which the Sacred Scriptures are built. The writing is terse, but clear. Presented as a history book rather than scripture, the story is easy to read and follow. This new edition of the text is supplemented with an assortment of images - both black and white and color images.  Here is a sample of the text from Genesis 1:


Creation
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. In its original state the earth was empty and dark. Like a bird watching over its young, the Spirit of God hovered over the watery surface of the earth. God created light on day one. On day two, he placed the sky between the earth and the heavens. He made land and vegetation on the third day, and on the fourth day, he put the stars, the sun, and the moon in place. On day five, God filled the sky with birds and the oceans with creatures of the sea. God created animals on the sixth day, and finally, last but not least, he made humankind in his image. (This means they were like God in certain ways.) God enriched their lives by providing them food to eat and giving them responsibility for the rest of creation. When God finished his work, he saw that everything he had made was perfect. There was absolutely no defect in his creation. He rested on the seventh day and set it apart as a day to rest and to remember that God is the creator of the universe.

The author’s stated purpose is, “that it will motivate people to read the Bible.” My major concern with the book is that it does not refer the reader back to the scriptures. Each chapter begins with a summary of the “Main Characters” and the “Settings” of the events detailed in that chapter - but no reference to the scriptures from which the story is being told. This is true for text found at the opening of chapters, footnotes, sidebars, or in an index.  

For the lay person, college student, or seminary student, this book would provide a useful tool to review the story of scripture; however, the lacking scripture references do reduce its value. This could be corrected with an online index or prepared insert to be downloaded by the reader.
______________
This review is based on a free copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.


Monday, August 7, 2017

What Does Consent Really Mean? - A Review





What Does Consent Really Mean?

What Does Consent Really Mean - cover.jpg

by
Pete Wallis, Joseph Wilkins, Thalia Wallis

A Review

Note this book is not aimed at a Christian audience per se. Christians may be, some will be, offended by the topics covered here.  However, it may open doors for communication for parents, friends, and classrooms.

The authors provide a guide toward understanding what many mean by “Consent” in today’s secular culture. They take no stand on the ethical, moral, or faith based decisions involved in giving consent, only on how to recognize and accept consent or the lack thereof.  Same gender issues are addressed, but not strongly - almost as afterthoughts.

Though the reader is given ideas on how to recognize consent, little is said how to respond when consent is not granted. In other words, nothing specific is said about what “No” really means. Another missing topic is the use of alcohol or drugs to limit inhibitions. This topic rises to the service, not as the result of a date rape drug being administered; but as a current criminal case makes it way through the California court system when a guy was seduced by an inebriated girl of similar age. The courts ruled that he was not guilty - a legal decision, not a moral one.

Finally, no mention is made of the issue of consent within a marriage or other established relationship - it is as if the issue of consent only must be addressed by those still dating.

The book provides a beginning point for discussions, it opens the door for conversation; but suggestions need to be made to discuss the missing elements of consent, not covered directly by the authors.
______________
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.