It was in January 2015 that I wrote a five-star review for Believe: Living the Story of the Bible To Become Like Jesus. This month I received a companion volume that adds to the value of the original book.
As a companion, the current work follows the same outline as the original work. However, the author makes little comparisons between the two books other than to hint that they are both designed to help us on the journey to becoming more like Jesus. Both texts leave me anticipating what I will learn and how I will change as I move through their individual or collective contents. Casual observation suggests that Believe is more closely tied to the Biblical text, while Think, Act, Be Like Jesus is more closely tied to the Christians personal life and what God expects from that life. That is not to say, the two books do not serve some of the same purposes. The first book focuses on the scripture allowing the reader to dig into their content and discover for him or herself what they expect from the believer. The second book focuses on the believer’s responsibility by asking more questions that will direct the readers thoughts toward a helpful path.
There are three ways these two books could be used to help the believer grow into the Jesus kind of person:
- Use the two books together, either as an individual or a small group setting - they do complement each other and the reader will be challenged by using the two in tandem.
- Use Believe in a classroom or structured setting. Its heavy dependence on scripture (using either the embedded NIV or another translation) would certainly allow the student to draw their own conclusions as they seek to grow into the person Jesus would have them be.
- Use Think, Act, Be Like Jesus in a small group setting. Its more directive approach would lead toward helpful discussion as a group of believers seeks to become more like Jesus.
Having said that, either book could be used individually or in a group setting - but the above expresses how I might consider using the books. The teacher or small group leader would be well-served by having both volumes available in planning the course studies. I continue to give both books, individually and collectively, a five-star review.
This review is based on a free copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.