The Story of the Bible is a fairly comprehensive history (for being less than 100 pages) of how the Bible came to be. It traces the development of the book throughout history, looking at how different movements and people effected its development.
It makes a wonderful coffee table book or conversation piece, especially with its 23 life-sized pullout copied pages from influential Bibles in history. The inside covers contain a timeline of Bible’s development and there are wonderful illustrations throughout the book. The history of the Bible also provides a nice look at the history of the world. It was quite an interesting read.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



Sabbath by Dan Allender is part of The Ancient Practices series put together by Phyllis Tickle. Allender’s approach to the Sabbath is to view it as a day that God gives us as a gift to find what we delight in. While practicing a day of Sabbath takes work and intentionality in preparing for it, setting aside a day to focus on delight is intended to bless and benefit us.

I personally would have enjoyed pragmatic ideas for observing the Sabbath; however, Allender’s approach is very theoretical. He gives us his principles for why the Sabbath was given to us and some illustrations from how he enjoys the Sabbath, but don’t expect to find any specifics laid out for observing the Sabbath. And this is understandable as he stays clear of being legalistic about it and notes that each of us will have different areas of delight.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Fasting: Test Me in This by Douglas LeBlanc is part of The Ancient Practices series put together by Phyllis Tickle. LeBlanc takes a different approach than many of the other books in the series. Instead of doing an in-depth look at what the Bible says about tithing, he travels the country to hear people’s stories about tithing in their lives. He interviews people from various theological backgrounds from Randy Alcorn to Ron and Arbutus Sider to Rabbi Yisroel Miller. 

I appreciate looking how different people and families view tithing and how it gets fleshed out in their lives and faith. The study guide at the end provides thought-provoking questions for reflecting on each of the stories for application in the reader’s own life. While I would like to see a short look on what the Bible says about tithing, it is also nice to take a different approach. Each story showed people applying tithing in different ways, but they all believe tithing to be a crucial part of their faith. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices by Brian McLaren is the first book of The Ancient Practices series put together by Phyllis Tickle. McLaren’s introductory work to the series tells why the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Islam and Christianity) need to reconnect with the ancient practices of the faith in order to be meaningful again. Fasting, Daily Prayers, Sabbath, Tithing, Eucharist, Piligrimage and following the Liturgical Year are all important practices that have been neglected for years by many Christians.

While each of those practices gets a separate book dedicated to it, McLaren touches on each of them and shows how they can enhance our lives and our faith. I appreciate McLaren’s illustrations that draw the reader in to make his points more real. If you have little to no experience with any of the ancient practices of our faith (that are still important to day), check out this book and the others in the series—at least to explore the reasons for their practice.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I was excited to read In Constant Prayer by Robert Benson. In the book he explores the ancient practice of praying the hours. The Divine Office is something I have been exploring recently. Benson lays out the biblical and historical precedence for praying the hours as well as how it nourishes our souls. Benson approaches the subject, not as a scholar but as a poet who has been sharing the joys of praying the hours himself. His language is not academic, but down to earth.

I appreciate Benson’s approach of the subject. I wish he would have addressed a practical approach to the Divine Hours for at-home parents who seldom get time to themselves and others whose work schedule seldom permits a regular break in the day. However, his look at prayer incites me to want to find a way to make it happen each day. I recommend the book to anyone interested in praying the hours as well as those who aren’t familiar with this practice that used to be a part of Christian life.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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