Friday, June 14, 2019

Book Review: Soaring Through the Bible

Soaring Through the Bible: A Travel Guide from Genesis to Revelation for Kids. Skip Heitzig. 2019. Harvest House. 224 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Do you know how special the Bible is? It’s the only book in the world that tells us who God really is and how we can know Him. There’s no other book like it!

Soaring Through the Bible is an overview of the whole Bible written specifically for (older) children or teens. I believe families could read it together--go through it together--as part of their family devotionals. It is NOT a bible story book. It blends summaries of books of the Bible with faith-and-doctrine instruction.

This one is well-organized. There are features that are to be found in each and every chapter. There are features that pop up now and again throughout the book. Not every chapter features a "tour guide" for example. Not every chapter focuses on exploring specific words and what they mean and how they are used in Scripture. Many chapters do include a "where's the Gospel?" feature to point readers to Christ.

Where's The Gospel? in NUMBERS
The bronze snake on a pole is a symbol of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “As Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man [Jesus] must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life” (John 3:14-15). Jesus was lifted up off the ground on the cross. And whoever looks to Him and believes in Him will be saved from the bite of sin and death.

Learn the Language in Ruth
Redeem is an important word in the Bible. It means to buy something back that used to belong to you. Boaz bought back land that used to belong to Naomi’s family so they could have a home (Ruth 4:4-12). Jesus bought you back from being a slave to sin, so you could have a home with Him.

Pack Smart in Jeremiah
Jeremiah’s life reminds us that we need to tell others what God says in His Word, the Bible—no matter how hard it is. In fact, we should expect it to be hard. Many people don’t like to hear about God’s truth, but when you rely on God for help, you can do anything He tells you to do! So stand up for the truth. God has got your back.

I definitely liked this one. I liked the focus on the gospel, on Jesus Christ. I liked that it was written simply--but it wasn't dumbed down theology.

One of my favorite quotes is from the chapter on 2 John.

Christians should be known for the way we love. But your love needs boundaries, like a fence around your yard. Having boundaries means you have to speak up when you see sin in someone’s life. You need to find the kindest, gentlest way to do it, but you should still do it. The world usually believes that loving someone means you never speak out against their choices or beliefs. But sometimes you have to, especially as a Christian! If you don’t, then that person might never learn the truth of the gospel. Love and truth should always go hand in hand. In this letter, John was worried that some Christians weren’t sticking to the truth. If they weren’t, false teachers could sneak into the church and teach whatever they wanted. So John said that if a preacher didn’t preach the truth of Christ, believers shouldn’t welcome him. They needed to keep false teachers from spreading their lies.
Where’s the Gospel? Jesus loved everyone, but He also told everyone the truth. A lot of people didn’t like that. He laid down His life in love so that we could be saved from our sin. But that sacrifice was necessary in the first place because we are sinful beings! So there are two sides to the gospel, truth and love: (1) The truth is that we sin and need to be saved, and (2) Jesus loved us enough to die for our sins and save us.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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