The subtitle is informative:  “A Crash Course in Navigating Life with the Bible.”  It would be a mistake to assume that this is another small group resource that simply summarizes the main points of scripture (in fact, he tells a short anecdote that argues against such bullet-point summaries of Scripture).

   Instead of a Bible survey, imagine a tour guide that helps you enjoy your visit to Chicago to the fullest (i.e.. that tells you where Giordano’s is and that J’s is a great greasy hamburger joint and that the “Magnificent Mile” is especially beautiful in December…you get the idea).

   Through insightful comments, humor, and British wit was clearly not first published in America) Krish takes us on a tour through the Bible, not in canonical order, but by genre order.

   If I were designing the book I might have started out a little easier, even though it does make sense to begin with the Bible’s meta-story.  Unfortunately, that means dealing with the narrative portions of scripture which make up a sizeable portion of the Bible.  There is no way the typical reader will even get through half of that material in a week, but they can at least make it through the seven “devotionals” which will get them thinking through seven significant portions in that large literature segment.

   The second week is a little lighter in length but not in subject matter.  The second week explores the law.  I should say that it explores the law in the Pentateuch.  I would have loved to have seen one devotional focus on Jesus’ use of the law in the Sermon on the Mount, but that isn’t Krish’s focus for this section.

   The Third week focuses on the Psalms.  The Fourth on Wisdom Literature.  The Fifth on the prophets.  The Sixth on the Gospels.  The Seventh on the Epistles.  And the Eighth on what he calls the apocalyptic literature, but really is just Revelation (as opposed to Daniel as well).

   Although this journey could be done by an individual it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun nor as profitable as it would be in a small group.  Krish provides small group study questions at the end of each week so it is very much designed to be used in a group context.  Moreover, Krish suggests even taking it to the next level and preaching on the themes for the eight weeks.  That presents its own problems (how do you condense the Biblical meta-story down to 30 minutes?), but certainly it would be a great thing to encourage all of your small groups to go through this book (and the Book) together.

   In the end, I think Krish’s book makes the Bible and the Christian life a little more accessible for those who are new to both (and even for some who have known both a long time, but haven’t made much headway).

   One minor quibble…he recommends various resources in a final appendix.  His recommendation for a general commentary is the New Bible Commentary (which is a great one volume commentary).  I would have added an additional recommendation for the two volume Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary (an abridgment of the 12 volume Expositor’s Bible Commentary).

 

*  I received this book for free from Kregel Publications (through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program).  Beyond the requirement of a review, I was free to write my own thoughts concerning the book.