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Monday, October 15, 2012

"The Action Bible Devotional" (Jeremy V. Jones)

TITLE: The Action Bible Devotional: 52 Weeks of God-Inspired Adventure
AUTHOR: Jeremy V. Jones
PUBLISHER: Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2012, (336 pages).

This is a perfect companion volume to the very illustrative Action Bible. In this devotional, Jones continues the very engaging colour and vivid pictures to pique the interest of young readers. It turns a rather plain Bible text into life, visually. Meant to hook the short-term attention span of kids, it immediately keeps readers glued to the overall flow of the story. Based on the belief that a picture speaks a thousand words, this book is generous with diagrams, pictures, and looks like manga for Christians. Meant to be used once a week, it can also be used as frequently as needed.

Each "adventure" begins with an illustrated story followed by a key verse from the passage where the story was taken from. Some modern examples are then introduced as "X-Ray vision," to see spiritual lessons amid ordinary life. In the "mission," three questions are raised to help readers apply the lessons to their daily lives. In the "debrief," readers are invited to interact with what they learn, their feelings, and their responses to the adventure. Finally, there is a call for readers to go beyond mere intellectual understanding to wider sharing of what they have learned.

I must admit that I was attracted by the colour and the lively figures in the book. I call it more of a book rather than a "bible" because it is more of an interpretation and paraphrasing of selected Bible stories. There is little context given, and the lessons have all been done on behalf of the reader. In fact, adult readers may find the whole book very directive, strongly worded guidance for young minds. Those of us who are educators may not be comfortable with things already done on our behalf. Yet, given the age group that the Action Bible is targeted at, I can understand why. The intent is to get children excited to WANT to read the Bible more for themselves. That said, the stories chosen tend to be those that are generally agreed and understood. For personal devotional reading, I can recommend this book more as a supplement rather than the main course. It needs not only the Action Bible companion, but also the actual Bible itself. Understandably, children may not be able to stomach heavy diets. Thus, if there is a parent or an adult who can guide the reading, that will be most helpful. Another way to use this is in the Sunday School. The questions posed in the book are immediately useful for teachers to engage children in a lively discussion. If this book can encourage young readers to desire to read more of the Bible, it would have worth every cent.

Rating: 4 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me free by David C. Cook and NetGalley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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