The Story published by Zondervan (2007) ISBN-13: 978-0310936985 8.5/ 10 Stars =)
My church, Union Center Christian Church recently worked through this book as a congregation, and it had a tremendous impact on a number of people’s lives, and defiantly caused everything to see something in a new light or learn something they did not know before about the word of God. I would highly recommend everyone reading it at some point, makes for a really easy read and can have a profound impact on the rest of your life. If and hopefully when you do read it check out some of the resources available from our church at http://www.unioncenter.net they really help you take what is in each chapter to a whole new level and help make real world applications to your life where you are at now. You can also find all the sermons from each chapter on there, which will also enhance your experience.
In Summary this book is a summed up version of the Bible written in the form of one seemless story, rather than the traditional book and verse method. In doing so this book presents scripture in a very unique but complete way that brings pattern and structure to all the disconnected stories we tend to learn in church. Personally I found this books approach to scripture very helpful and very easy to get, it was innovative as it got you to think of scriptures in a much more holistic way that is typically left out of the pulpit. I found it very insightful and really helped spark a deeper love and appreciation for God and for the scriptures. Passages that I used to think were a real bore and had a hard time getting through I now actually enjoy as I see their deeper purpose. I used to not be so much of a fan of the whole Old Testament for example, certain parts more than others but the majority of it, but after reading the Story I began to relate to Israel in a whole new way. Yeah they were really stupid and continued to sin in the eyes of the Lord, but I finally got that I was no better than them. How many times have I witness the goodness of God and chosen my own gods ahead of him despite knowing what has happened in the past and despite knowing that God is a great and mighty king? So many, time after time I have repeatedly done exactly what they did. With different idols perhaps or having witnessed different miracles and graces but nevertheless I have known better and chosen to rebel.
The only really criticism I can make for this book is that it is not the Bible, and in some ways seems to over edit, but there isn’t too much you can do about that as it is trying to get the basics and allow the reader to grasp the bigger upper story of scripture and therefore some of the exact details are left out even some important events, so if you do read it please do so as a supplement to scripture rather than a replacement as it is not meant to be one.