Tuesday, March 31, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: "Believe" is a mediocre offering for a niche market ...

"Believe," with Randy Frazee as General Editor (published by Zondervan), is a large hardback book that was hard for me to wade through because it really is for a small niche market, that market probably being for lesser mature Christians seeking a resource to help them build their faith.

I wouldn't say this is the best resource to recommend to them, either, but it is one.

This book is divided into three sections: "What Do I Believe?" is 10 chapters detailing what Frazee identifies as the "core beliefs" of the Christian life; "What Should I Do?" is 10 chapters discussing what Frazee identifies as the "core practices" of the Christian life; and "Who Am I Becoming?" is another 10 chapters containing what Frazee identifies as the "core virtures" of the Christian life. Just in this selection of "tens" can arise differences of opinion since the Bible itself doesn't break down these three topics in just 10 specific items.

"Believe" isn't a book to be read in the normal sense. Each chapter has only small portions of content offered by the writer, with large blocks of the chapters being Bible verses supporting the topic that are fully reproduced in the book from the NIV Bible. Because of this, "Believe" could have just as easily been a leaflet containing the paragraphs from the writers with a list of the passages of scripture that readers could look up for themselves in their own Bibles rather than reproducing larger portions from the NIV.

So I have a mixed response to this book. On the surface, there's some value in raising the thinking, and providing some commentary, on the topics within the book's three divisions. But the method of doing that, with printing all the scripture passages in full, becomes very questionable as far as a necessary, or even an effective, method.

Overall, I would have to say that "Believe" is a mediocre offering in a niche market. You can easily find materials that are easier to use with greater value to the reader.

Scotty

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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