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Visual Theology: Seeing and Understanding the Truth About God Paperback – April 19, 2016
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Tim Challies (the writer) and Josh Byers (the designer) have teamed up to produce a truly unique introduction to theology and guide to living the Christian life. This is show-and-tell at its finest. Most theology books merely convey what we are to believe, but this one uses creative and beautiful design to capture and portray these crucial truths. I know of nothing else quite like it, and I trust that God will use it to help his people see and celebrate reality in a new way. -- Justin Taylor, managing editor of The ESV Study Bible and coauthor of The Final Days of Jesus
You’ve probably seen (or used) a gospel presentation drawn on a whiteboard or a napkin. It’s remarkable how God gives us spiritual insight when we behold truths about him with our eyes. With engaging graphics and descriptions of the Christian faith, Tim Challies and Josh Byers have done something genuinely unique in Visual Theology. See for yourself! -- Gloria Furman, author of Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full and The Pastor's Wife
My mind is blown. Tim Challies and Josh Byers marry rock-ribbed Reformational theology with breathtaking presentations. The effect is something like following John Knox into the Matrix. In this diaphanous world, we encounter no fiction, but very reality itself --- God-reality --- and we are transformed. -- Owen Strachan, associate professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
A delightful read. It combines wise knowledge of sound theology with a readable, inviting style. -- Wayne Grudem, professor and author of the bestselling Systematic Theology
A resource that will be of immense help to believers in our visual age. -- Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author and Revive Our Hearts radio host
This is simple yet profound, clever without being flashy. Helpful and practical. Speaking as a person who avoids diagrams and graphs at all costs, I found the infographics in this book to be illuminating. This cheeky little number is a class act. -- Mez McConnell, pastor of Niddrie Community Church, Edinburgh, and director of 20schemes
About the Author
A pastor, noted speaker, and author of numerous articles, Tim Challies is a pioneer in the Christian blogosphere. Over 20,000 people visit Challies.com each day, making it one of the most widely read and recognized Christian blogs in the world. Tim is also the editor of DiscerningReader.com, a site dedicated to offering thoughtful reviews of books that are of interest to Christians. Tim is the author of The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment and Sexual Detox. He and his family reside near Toronto, Ontario.
Josh Byers is a communications pastor, artist, speaker, husband, and father who resides in Iowa. Josh is an idea maker and creative visionary. His work has been featured in a wide variety of outlets from the Gospel Coalition to the Tonight Show. He writes and publishes graphics regularly at joshbyers.com.
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My critique with this book is primarily on the "visual" side of things...in fact, while nicely designed, the book falls flat on the "visualization" side of things. While the designs are, at times, lovely, the visualizations included in this book do little to illuminate the message of the book and, in fact, sometimes help to obfuscate it. I teach my students to use visualizations wisely, and to avoid using them just to add "flair" to the presentation. Almost all of the viz in this book is simply flair, that doesn't help with the understanding of the text.
Unfortunately, I think this is a very wasted opportunity for communicating gospel theology, and especially for contrasting it with false theology. I am a big fan of Tim Challies and, while I've only skimmed the text at this point, I'm sure that the text will be well received by many. However, the graphics are generally fluff, and take away as much as they add. The iconography, at times, is nice, but whenever a visualization attempts to summarize theological truth, it really fails quite badly.
This book is structured by the four main disciplines that give us spiritual fitness: growing closer to Christ, understanding the doctrine of Christ, becoming more like Christ, living for Christ. In examining each of these in greater detail Challies guides Christians through the benefits of redemption and how those are communicated to us, what our identity in Jesus entails, how to cultivate a continuing relationship with him by Word and prayer, and centering us on Jesus in our vocation, relationships, and stewardship. Each page is accompanied by color-bursting infographics which may help visual learners connect with what is written.
This is an excellently formatted presentation that does not read like some demanding books on spiritual disciplines. Challies has mastered the skill of brevity without sacrificing the depth of content, and his refreshing look at the Christian life is thoroughly Christ-centered. With little exception this reviewer was quite pleased with the content only wishing a few things would be expanded or clarified. Case in point was the terse section on the role of preaching for the Christian life. The author mainly emphasized an individualistic approach of preaching to one's self, rather than the authoritative proclamation of the Bible as one of the primary means of grace. Nevertheless, the content was helpful.
The infographics are a unique addition. As one who was not overly familiar with them it seemed, at first, they might be a detraction from the written words. However, that was not the case. Aside from being an visual aid to the reader, they lend the book a certain aesthetic appeal that can only be described as fresh and crisp. Perhaps one day they will be seen as dated, but hopefully this book is an enduring help to growing Christians.
Most recent customer reviews
As I skimmed it, there doesn't appear to be anything poor in it's theology. That's a plus.Read more