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Believe, NIV: Living the Story of the Bible to Become Like Jesus Hardcover – June 2, 2015
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About the Author
Randy Frazee is the senior minister at Oak Hills Church, one of the largest churches in America, leading alongside author and pastor Max Lucado. A leader and innovator in spiritual formation and biblical community, Randy is the architect of The Story church engagement campaign. He is also the author of The Heart of the Story, The Connecting Church 2.0, and The Christian Life Profile Assessment. He and his wife, Rozanne, live in San Antonio.
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The book is 90% (my estimate) scripture which has been cut and pasted in a topical arrangement. The three major division of the book: Think, Act, and Be is a helpful way to outline the process of spiritual development. While one might debate the 10 subjects selected for each of the major divisions (i.e. Stewardship as a core belief and no chapter on the Holy Spirit) each subject was certainly worthy of discussion and the scriptures given provide a great amount of material to discuss.
Eh. yes and no.
The editors of BELIEVE describe it as: “Believe, NIV is a unique spiritual growth experience that takes you on a journey to think, act, and be more like Jesus. Each chapter uses short topical passages from the New International Version to help you live the story of the Bible. Using this edition of Believe, church families around the globe can now embrace a full ministry year through worship services, small group studies, and family activities.”
When you open the book and look inside the front cover, the table of contents IS broken down just like a systematics book. It starts with God, Salvation, the Bible, Jesus, the Church, Humanity and so forth…. then it breaks down into personal growth like worship, prayer Bible study etc…
The book is broken down into three main areas:
Beliefs: What do I believe?
Practices: What should I do?
Virtues: Who am I becoming?
Which is great! I was kind of looking for a simplified “discipleship” program that I could implement with people or new believers. When I got the book in the mail, it was…. HUGE. It’s as big as a BIBLE.
Well, that’s because it kind of IS a Bible.
This book has a lot of padding. And sadly it’s a BIG book that talks about a BIG BOOK! I assume the publishers wanted to “help” new readers by including in full, every supporting passage. Which is great, but … misleading. If the Bible portions were stripped out, you’d be left with a much smaller book.
Plus, then within each chapter, the Bible has been stripped of all it’s chapter and verse references and strung together more in a “Message-style.”
Again, let me repeat – for a target audience of New Believer. This is a great resource and I would highly recommend it, in fact I know exactly who I am going to give it to. But I don’t see using this as something to base curriculum or sermon prep or a discipleship program from.
Thank you to Zondervan Publishers for sending me this preview copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.