Monday, October 5, 2015

I Dare You Not To Bore Me With The Bible - A Review

I Dare You Not to
Bore Me With the Bible

I Dare You Not To Bore Me With the Bible Cover.jpg

Michael S. Heiser

A Review

The current volume seems like a book that seems to have no purpose, but that I found extremely interesting.

Let me begin with a disclaimer - I am a regular user of LOGOS Bible software, but I do not subscribe to Bible Study magazine published by the same company. Having said that, it should be noted that the route that this book took toward publication included a stop in Bible Study magazine. The essays collected here began as a series of lectures (or parts of lectures) in the author’s classroom. From there, they were transformed into essays published in Bible Study magazine. The essays were then collected and reprinted in the book form found here. I appreciated the broad range of topics discussed from the Old Testament and the New Testament. In addition, the author often throws in a few interesting tidbits of information (“Quickbits”) to whet the reader’s appetite for more details.

Other than the author’s lectures and essays, there is little that connects the various pieces of this book together. But that does not mean that the pieces are not of interest. Each essay forced this reader to think and evaluate his own understanding. I could get no further than the second essay and I was forced to rethink the meaning and purpose inerrancy - a major proponent of both my seminary training and my denominational choice. I found the anecdotes and background material fascinating as I read.

The essays have been rearranged Biblically, rather than in the order originally written - in fact, other than a short statement in the preface, there is no indication of the exact location where the original essays are located or the order in which they were produced.  In addition, each of the author’s main points are well documented from scripture, but there is little other secondary or primary sources for the reader to assist in further study. This lack of bibliographic detail is the major flaw in the book. There are some, but most of the independent essays lack the needed supporting material.

The electronic version of the book I received had no indexing - it would be hoped that a paper edition would include a thorough Biblical index. This should include both an index of the passages discussed and of the Biblical material referenced throughout the book. These missing elements are not significant in an e-book as searching can reproduce many of the needed references. Scripture is so important to the author’s arguments, that would be a significant hole in a paper edition.

Though not designed as a devotional book, the design and layout of the book might allow some readers to use it as such. Others would want to use it as a reference book for the variety of problems and issues addressed. The book would be a welcome addition to the supplemental reading used in a Bible survey course for the Bible College or Seminary student. The pastor may find it of some use as a source of sermon illustrations and teaching resources.  For some the young Christian, the essays may present a challenge to their faith.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

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