Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Book Review - Bible Revival: Recommitting Ourselves To One Book by Kenneth Berding

Note: Since writing this review the website mentioned (http://biblefluency.com) is now complete! It leads you through a 12 week program that will not only qualify you as biblically literate, but will also train you to recite the storyline of the whole bible. Visit the website and view the free videos, music and other free resources rather than reading the book reviewed. The program is suitable to do as a family. A suggestion: use it as a ready-made Family Worship/Devotions. It is best for Junior High to Senior Adult, but can easily be adapted for younger children.

I grew up at a time when most people knew some basic facts about the bible.  My parents could expect almost anyone I encountered to remind me how my behavior was not in line with that required by the God of the Bible.  But that day is long gone.  Kenneth Berding has written a useful resource for the church to supplement efforts to increase Bible Literacy. It is a book “about learning, living and loving the Bible that would teach and stir the hearts of our people” says author, Professor and church elder, Berding.

This book lays out the underlying spiritual causes of the present predicament of Bible Illiteracy. As such, it is not a devotional book, nor a how to interpret the Bible book, nor a book about the doctrine of Scripture.  It is a book that makes a case for hearing, valuing, understanding, applying and obeying the scriptures. Each chapter has a “Digging Deeper” section that uncovers the spiritual issues related to the topic. Kenneth Berding closes each chapter with a prayer and questions quite suitable for small group bible study or to gauge your own understanding of the chapter.

He follows these chapters with two helpful appendices, one on memorizing the scriptures and another making an announcement of an upcoming Bible Fluency program to be released by Weaver Press in the summer of 2014. 

Here are the topics of the 6 chapters.
Chapter 1 – Hearing the Word.  How little this generation knows about the Bible and the underlying causes.
Chapter 2 - Valuing the Word. The origin of our underlying distrust of the Bible.
Chapters 3 and 4 - Understanding and Applying the Word.  Why we struggle to understand and apply the bible. He provides a framework for how to do so.
Chapter 5: - Obeying the Word.  Here he addresses sentimentality, avoidance, the opinion that I have the right to decide and the possibility that one is still not at peace with God.
Chapter 6: Speaking the Word. Berding issues a call to not only read, learn and obey the bible, but to talk about it regularly with each other.

The book is quite readable, well laid out and has the right amount of personal stories as illustrations. His use of scripture makes his arguments convincing.  I would not hesitate to use this book as a starting point for developing a bible fluency program for yourself or your church.

I received a free copy of this book from Weaver Book Company via Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review.