THE 52 GREATEST STORIES OF THE BIBLE: A Devotional Study
Ken Boa and John Alan Turner
A generation ago, public discourse was littered with biblical references. Someone who endured painful circumstances without giving in to resignation and despair was said to have “the patience of Job.” Great stories like David and Goliath, Daniel in the lion’s den, and Balaam’s talking donkey were mentioned in stories and songs --- both religious and popular. Everyone was at least somewhat familiar with them. But that isn’t the case anymore. Even within the church, our knowledge and basic understanding of the biblical narrative --- and, consequently, the foundational tenets of our faith --- is steadily eroding.
For authors Ken Boa and John Alan Turner, the solution to this problem is not the creation of another commentary set or scholarly work. Instead, they have collaborated to create THE 52 GREATEST STORIES OF THE BIBLE, a one-year devotional book that is practical, easy to understand, and tackles the pressing questions of origin, destiny, and morality. The book is designed both for church outsiders and Christians seeking a clearer and more confident understanding of their faith so they can communicate it to others.
“The greatest call of the Christian life is to know God and to help others to know Him, too. But where do you begin the task of communicating the gospel to a group of people who do not know the basics? How do you approach people who aren’t even sure who God is, what sin is, who Christ is, or what a Bible is for?” Turner asks. “Even more, how do you do these things when you’re not sure of their meaning yourself? Here’s how. You learn and tell the Big Story. You go all the way back to the beginning. Step by step through the Old Testament, you build your worldview in order to prepare yourself for the greatest story, the story of Jesus. Unfortunately, few Christians today know how to do such a thing. That’s why this book is so important.”
THE 52 GREATEST STORIES OF THE BIBLE marks the third collaborative effort for friends Boa and Turner. Boa is one of the most respected thinkers in Christendom and holds two doctoral degrees, a Ph.D. from New York University and a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in England. Turner is a teaching pastor par excellence who communicates important biblical concepts in language that anyone can understand. Over the course of a year, the authors will guide readers through one story each week according to a deliberate pattern:
In a postmodern and post-Christian era, many people are confused about what the Bible is and why it was written. “For a long time, the church has given the impression that the Bible is a book of morality --- cautionary tales for the morally impaired,” Turner says. “But the Bible isn’t about us (the people) and what we do. It was written to give us a vision of God --- His character, His actions, His story. THE 52 GREATEST STORIES OF THE BIBLE will help readers understand the full scriptural timeline --- from creation to eternity --- by showing how these individual stories all come together into a much larger, cohesive narrative. Hopefully, by taking this approach, readers will be challenged to see their lives as another part of this continually unfolding Story.”
- Monday --- a conversational retelling of the story including details about historical context.
- Tuesday --- a discussion of the orthodoxy of the story, a description of how the story shapes our beliefs.
- Wednesday --- a study of the orthopathy of the story, a discussion of how the story shapes our values.
- Thursday --- an exploration of the orthopraxy of the story, an explanation of how the story should shape our actions.
- Friday --- the conclusion of the week’s study that will guide the reader through a prayerful response to the story.
THE 52 GREATEST STORIES OF THE BIBLE © Copyright 2017 by Ken Boa and John Alan Turner. Reprinted with permission by Regal Books. All rights reserved.
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