When I first chose this book to review, I did so based solely on the title. I knew nothing about the author, I knew nothing about the book. But the title did catch my eye. I have not been disappointed.
I began the review process by trying to find out something about author. When I did a Google search of details about this author, I was surprised to find, with few exceptions, that the author’s name is most often associated with the former CEO of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team. That was not very comforting - I am not a sports fan. A bit more (actually quite a bit), I discovered that the author of this book was not the former CEO of the Dallas Mavericks. Instead the author is the father of the former CEO of the Dallas Mavericks. The author has been married for 59 years, has three children, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He has served in ministry for 50+ years, beginning with an appointment to a local AME church. He now serves, while retired, as an assistant to the pastor of a local Presbyterian church in Southern California. The book I have been asked to review is the culmination of several years of leading a small Bible Study in his home.
The best way to describe The ABCs of Christianity is to compare it to an older work by another great Christian from an earlier generation - Henrietta Mears’ What the Bible Is All About. What Mears’ work did for the study of scripture, Dr. Ussery’s work is set to do for the church’s study of theology. Both books are written for a similar audience - the layperson wanting to know more about God and his word. Each major area of theology is discussed in small chunks using scripture. Though the book is thorough, it is not so deep as to scare off the average reader. Rather it prepares him or her to study more, as desired. If there is weakness, it is the lack of hints for further study - few, if any references to other theological works are presented.
The book is not only a study of theology, but also an examination of how it needs to challenge us as believers in our day to day lives. Practice is as important to this author as truth.
The book belongs in the church library, in the Sunday School curriculum, and on the layman’s reference shelf, right next to What the Bible Is All About.
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.