Just last week a man at my church asked me if there is a book or something he can read that would help him understand the Bible better. He is a newbie to the Book and expecting it to be understandable at the first pass.
He is not alone in wanting some 'Bible For Dummies' notes. He enjoys listening to me preach because I'm a slightly more experienced 'Dummie' who helps him get into the larger story, the historical background and the real world context of what it means for him today.
I think I'll recommend 'The Way' New Living Translation to him.
Remember The 70's?
The Living Bible version of 'The Way' appeared under the arms of Jesus people and youth groups during the 1970's. That version exposed a generation of 16 - 30 year olds to the riches of Scripture, but in a language and packaging that said, "This book is for now."
And it was. Insightful accompaniment notes, personal stories and intriguing photographs helped us get past our ignorance of ancient cultures and see the application of truth for our times.
The same strategy is applied to the updated version with some valuable changes. Thought provoking resources are categorized as follows:
Living In The Way
- stopping points that reflect on what it means to live in the way of Jesus
What I Wish I'd Known
- important insights into the big picture of Scripture and ways of focusing on core ideas
- giving voice to common doubts and grieving the hard things of life. These are hardcore.
This Is My Story
- interesting stories of people who encounter God and become followers of Jesus
The 1970's experienced The Jesus Movement, a massive explosion of young people who decided to follow Jesus (millions of them worldwide). Many of them had dog-eared copies of 'The Way' tucked under their arm.
The world is ready for another Jesus Movement.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".