Friday, April 13, 2012

Review: "The Story: Teen Edition"

“The Bible” the title and words immediately bring ideas, opinions and reactions.  A couple months back I sat with the rest of my staff hearing popular pastor, Alistair Begg.  He was speaking at a lunch at our local Christian bookstore.  He spoke about our responsibility to preach the Word.  At the end of the lunch we were given gift bags with a The Story, a narrative Bible that includes selections from the NIV.   What  I found ironic was after hearing about the responsibility of preserving every passage and word of scripture we were given a paraphrase.  I use the word “paraphrase” lightly, because really isn’t even that.

The Story is an attempt to rewrite the storyline of the Bible in a 32 chapter book form.  The teen version follows very closely to the adult version in many ways.  The teen version includes a “flip book” feature on each page with 4 main icons.  The flip book feature allows easy identification of what is the theme of the passage, as well as creating a quick flip book through the story of the Bible to play out.  Another helpful addition is the 7 tabbed sections that once again connect the historical period to the storyline

It is a difficult task that the authors and publishers have undertaken in writing this book.  I must given them credit and respect for what I am sure were long hours of work.  I see this as a helpful tool for teens, especially the young teen that I work with, but however am not completely sold on the whole of it.  I can see that they have tried very hard to preserve the story, but I am not sure that the integrity of scripture is fully intact in the end.  Please do not get me wrong, I did enjoy reading it.  I like the over arching concept.  I will be using in my ministry in selected contexts.  I will most definitely use it as a gateway to getting young students into reading and understanding God’s Word. I feel the key word is “gateway”.  I would suggest allowing it to be used as a lesson book and not as a stand alone Bible.  It is also a great tool to give to new or immature believers who are simply trying to get a grasp of the scriptural story.

Our church has chosen to use the accompanying curriculum.  I am waiting for that to arrive for me to look through.  From what I have seen and reviewed in the samples, I am expecting to use The Story: Teen Edition similar to what I suggested above as a lesson/study book to go along with the 32 weeks of teaching.  

Here is the Official Website: CLICK HERE.