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The Story: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People (Selections from the New International Version) Hardcover – April 23, 2011
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I noticed a reoccurring theme in the Old Testament and it made me wonder if God is going to punish our country in same way that he punished Israel for turning its back on Him. Solomon was definitely my favorite person in the Old Testament and the reason is because he asked for knowledge and wisdom and not material possession which he received from God anyways.
Another part that I was not aware of in the New Testament was the full story about the Apostle Paul and when he was arrested by the Romans and forced to give an account. It was very interesting to read how this Jew, who persecuted those who followed The Way, would become one of the most ardent Christians of that time.
I'm liking the way the story, characters, and narratives are read. It includes dramatization.
What I dislike is that each disc is not broken up into more tracks so that it's easier to rewind or start again where I left off. For instance, I listen to this audio book on my 20 min commute to work. I can turn the power off on my stereo so that it will start again where I left off. But I have children. So when they are with me we listen to other music CD's, etc., and therefore have to change the disc. When I put THE STORY back in my CD player in my car, I have to listen from the beginning of the chapter/track or hold down the FWD button for a long time to get back to where I left off. It's just an inconvenient pain.
The book is divided into 31 chapters, and one way in which it can be used is as a 31-week teaching series for churches, focusing on one chapter per week. This is how my church has used it (with breaks for Christmas and other special events). Weekly sermons have focused on one part of the week's chapter, and supplementary materials relating to the same chapter have been available for small groups meeting during the following week.
In my opinion the book has identified and addresses a key weakness for many contemporary churchgoers: a lack of understanding of the complete message of the Bible. However, I am not sure that a condensed 500-page version is really any more likely to solve the lack-of-Bible-reading problem than a full 2000-page version. It seemed to me that at the start of the church teaching series most people made an effort to read the weekly chapters, but the participation rate fell off as the series progressed. The problem seems to be not that the "real" Bible is too challenging but that many people just do not read.
On the other hand, I thought that the 31-week overview of the whole story of the Bible as given by the sermon series did help most people to develop a greater understanding of the big picture. A lot of Bible was crammed into each chapter, so the weekly sermons tended to focus on one aspect of each chapter rather than on the whole, but the cumulative effect of the 31 weeks still gave a reasonable overview. I would definitely recommend this resource to other churches.