Sunday, November 21, 2010

"A Year with God" Review

“A Year with God” by R.P. Nettelhorst was sent to me as a complimentary review copy from Thomas Nelson Publishers, through their program called BookSneeze.

This book is a daily Bible devotional based on the words of God from the Old Testament. It is organized into sections such as Hope & Fear, Love & Hate, and Faith & Doubt. Each day lists a section of scripture that includes God’s words to his people followed by a short reflection on this passage from the author.

To begin, the thing I like best about this devotional is that each daily section is listed as “Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, etc.” rather than listed by a specific date. This makes it possible to read ahead if you like and does not make you feel so bogged down if you miss a day or two.

As far as content, however, this book was only okay. The author uses many different Bible translations throughout the book, and I felt as if he/she was picking and choosing translations to what would fit his/her musings the best. I also thought that many of the contemplations about the scriptures fell rather flat and were not very thought-provoking.

In addition, I felt that some things were incorrect theologically with this book. While I am no theologian, I do know the Bible, and I found several inaccuracies in the text. One passage says the following:

“Jacob had sent his children to Egypt to get food because they were facing famine. When they returned, he discovered they’d been accused of being spies and one of his sons, Joseph, had been imprisoned. To get him out, Jacob would have to allow the last remaining son of his beloved Rachel to go down to Egypt.”

Um…no….Joseph had been imprisoned earlier in the story, but at this point Joseph was second in command in Egypt. When the brothers came to buy food, Joseph kept Simeon behind in prison while the others went home to their father to bring Benjamin back. Maybe this was a typo, maybe not, but there were other questionable beliefs expressed in this book that I won’t relate here.

I would also like to mention that while a devotional book on the Old Testament is a wonderful thing, we as Christians should always be looking to Christ. The Old Testament points to Christ as the Messiah and should be read as such. We can learn a great deal about how to live our lives by thinking on the words of God from the Old Testament. I just always like to think how those words and promises in the Old Testament were fulfilled in Christ, and this devotional does not always do that.

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I will give “A Year with God”….  2 BookWorms.

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