Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Soaring Through the Bible

Written for 8-11 year olds, Soaring Through the Bible, seeks to give young readers an overview of the Bible hitting on key points from each book and highlighting the thread of redemption present from Genesis through Revelation.

As children embark on the grand tour of the Bible, the author has created a clever "travel guide" that includes the following parts:

  • Check Your Location explains the authorship of a book and its setting
  • Plot Your Course sections offers the overview of events and their significance
  • Enjoy Your Trip features the "BIG ideas" and a their application to your life--specifically explaining how the Gospel is woven throughout all 66 books of the Bible
  • Learn the Language discusses some of the key terms and the origins of those words
  • Must-See Sites provide insights about historical events and/or geographic notes
  • Culture Shock explains some of the unusual practices or rituals
  • Tour Guide section is sort of a "Who am I" quiz with clues on a person's identity (and Bible references so you can discover the answer)
  • Pack Smart is where readers will be challenged to apply and live out Biblical truth
  • Expect the Unexpected are nuggets about surprising things in Scripture. 

The format of the book is very clever and I love the idea that reading the Bible is like a grand vacation and adventure with interesting things to learn, see, and do.  The author intended it to be read from cover to cover.  So while each book has a summary, the content is very sequential; the best understanding will come in reading from start to finish as each chapter is like a link in one long chain of the Bible.

I would highly recommend a parent read this out loud with their child. For this particular age group, I found some things that will need to be explained to a child (such as hemorrhoids and prostitution). There are maybe a handful of illustrations within the book.  To be honest, I think 8-11 year olds would benefit from more illustrations to break up the monotony of the book. Yes, adults know the value of the Bible; for children, however, a little "sugar" in the way of illustrations, would go a long way toward helping the "medicine" go down.

There were a few sections in which I did not entirely agree with the author's conclusions on a particular book's overall message.  Just felt that some personal opinions were tossed in.  For example, when talking about the book of Luke, I had to disagree with his explanation of the term "Son of Man" as a reference to Jesus' humanity. I also felt like the Gospel sections were redundant for the New Testatment books. Felt like that format was helpful in the Old Testament books but felt a bit forced and overused for each New Testament book.

When I got to Revelation, I was quite disappointed that the author chose not to explain that there are varying opinions on end times but instead chose to include the view that all Christians will be raptured and avoid the tribulation. I feel the author should acknowledge other views or at the very least caution parents of his viewpoint.

Done together with a parent where deeper topics can be explained and further explored, I think it can be a useful resource; I would, unfortunately, be reluctant to just hand this book to a child without some guidance through its content.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of Soaring through the Bible for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

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