Making Sense of the Bible DVD: Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today
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In this six week video study, Adam Hamilton explores the key points in his new book, Making Sense of the Bible. With the help of a Leader’s Guide (sold separately), the video presentations from the author lead groups through the book, focusing on the most important questions we ask about the Bible, its origins and meaning.
Video sessions are 5-8 minutes in length. All video sessions are closed captioned.
Top Customer Reviews
I see themes in this book that echo N.T. Wright as well as Marcus Borg. I hear Brian McLaren's compassionate evangelical voice echoing here. I see Rob Bell's passion for the Bible, coupled with top scholarship, echoed here. If you're a fan of any of those authors, you'll find yourself comfortably enjoying this book. You may not agree with every conclusion Hamilton draws in this book, but his scholarship is rock solid and his invitation to think about the Bible in new ways is clear and inviting.
Research has long shown us that America is distinctive in the world for the intensity of our faith, as a culture, and for our outspoken desire as Americans to express ourselves. Unfortunately, research also shows that a majority of Americans, when asked, can't name the four Gospels. Whether that describes you as you read about this new book, or whether you've been involved in a congregation all your life, reading this book is sure to make you think about the Bible from new perspectives.
In addition to an excellent opening section that provides a sweeping overview of the Bible, its history and its timeless power, about half of the book looks at individual topics that have troubled people of faith over the centuries. The sections on violence and on slavery and on gender are fascinating and make great choices for small-group discussion in your community.
Hamilton’s goal is to help people who aren’t familiar with the Bible, or who are troubled by certain passages in it, to “make sense of it.” To this, end he begins very helpfully with the crucial question, “What exactly is the Bible?” (p. 7). He explains that it is not what it is often considered to be: an “owner’s manual,” a source of random guidance, a collection of data for systematic theology, a science and history textbook, or a treasury of “precious promises.”
Hamilton then provides historical, geographic, and literary overviews of the Bible to orient readers to its background and contents. These will be valuable and helpful resources for the many today who don’t start with a basic knowledge of the Bible. Hamilton addresses some questions about the nature of Scripture and then devotes the last half of the book to “making sense of the Bible’s challenging passages.”
As I read through the book, there were certain chapters that I found very meaningful personally. Hamilton’s testimony in Chapter 24 of how he “came to love Jesus” by reading the gospels is poignant and beautiful. And I would recommend his reflections on suffering in the preceding chapter to anyone who is going through difficult times.
So what’s my one disagreement? It’s with Hamilton’s answer to the question of what the Bible actually is. He says it is a collection of books “written by men seeking to express what they believed was God’s will.Read more ›
That said, Hamilton's strength may be his weakness. Hamilton has a thoughtful pastor's ability to simplify the complex. Sometimes that works, but other times it oversimplifies or creates false dichotomies. Pastor Hamilton and I share many of the same conclusions - not all, but many. However, I am concerned that some of his conclusions set forth here will not ultimately bear the weight his other conclusions require them to bear.
For example, Hamilton openly admits he's a traditional Christian fundamentalist on 4.5 of the 5 "Fundamentals (p. 298)," including the virgin birth of Jesus and Christ's atonement for humanity's sin. But Hamilton has consciously shifted toward a classically Liberal Protestant understanding of biblical inspiration and authority, one which tilts toward human authorship rather than divine influence upon the Bible. When Liberal Protestants of the early 20th c. took the same route, they eventually left those Fundamentals behind.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author claims to love the Bible but the truth is he loves to misrepresent it and mock it. He is quick to accept the attitudes of modern culture and the speculations of the... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Dave
This is a wonderful book. Explains so many things about the Bible.Published 12 days ago by Luvmybooks
Hamilton goes beyond simply asserting that cultural differences led to no longer appropriate admonitions. Read morePublished 1 month ago by James C. Tyrone
this is very interesting and eye-opening It took a long time to read because of checking the Bible so often but it was well written. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jane Paire
This book didn't have all the information I was looking for.Published 1 month ago by Jan K Henricks