With this post begins a new feature to this site: book reviews! It is my goal to review newly-released books that deal with Christian theology, worldview, apologetics, and Bible study. These resources will help those of you who are interested dig deeper into many of the topics that are discussed on this site.
With Easter only a few days away, what greater topic is there to discuss than the life, death and resurrection of Jesus? Easter Sunday marks the most important event in history for those who are Christians. However, many on the outside of Christianity, and even many within, are not really sure of the significance of the day. Why did Jesus die? Why does it matter if he rose from the dead? And how does Jesus fit into the entire story of the Bible?
These are all good and important questions. They are also the types of questions that author Jeremy Howard sets out to answer in the Holman QuickSource Guide to Understanding Jesus. In his book, Howard begins at the beginning – the garden of Eden. In a highly readable and engaging format, the author tells the over-arching story of Scripture. This is not just a focus on the life of Christ, but a presentation of how Jesus fits into the big picture. So many Christians and non-Christians really do not have a grounded understanding of the sweeping narrative of the Bible. This books does much to correct that.
The narrative style and the clear writing of the author are the clear strengths of this wonderful book. Howard is able to incorporate many of the most important, and sometimes difficult, themes of both the Old and New Testaments in a way that both the average reader and the more advanced student can glean much from. The 400 page book is also a very attractive presentation, having a large number (200+) of color images interwoven within the text.
Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand the big picture of the Christian worldview and how Jesus fits into the picture. This is probably the best non-technical treatment of the topic I have read.
There are also five other books in the Holman QuickSource series (Bible Atlas, Christian Apologetics, Understanding the Bible, Bible Dictionary, and Understanding Creation). I have not read the others, but if they are on par with Understanding Jesus, they would be worth the effort.
Let me know if you have read, and what your thoughts are concerning, Understanding Jesus or any of the other titles in this series.