Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Book Review: The Rose Book of Bible Charts Volume 3

The Rose Book of Bible Charts Volume 3 is a 220-page reference book that is so packed with REPRODUCIBLE Bible charts, Bible timelines, and Bible overviews.

Its stunningly beautiful visuals certainly add depth to my study of the Old and New Testament.

Among the topics covered include the 100's of facts at a glance, the various aspects of spiritual disciplines, our identity in Christ, the attributes of God, insights into the book of Proverbs, the book of Acts, forgiveness, the book of Revelation.

Every page of this book is just so packed with information; so much so that I would say we could conduct home group bible studies based on materials from every page of this book. I especially love the colorful charts in the book.

In fact, the materials covered in the book are not only feeding my mind but ministering to my heart as well. For example, on page 17, in a text box on “Does Forgiveness mean reconciliation?”, I felt a sense of relief of the heavy burden I am carrying when I am reminded that forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation.

“Forgiveness involves letting go of vengeance and hatred for being wronged. Reconciliation can be described as “restoration to harmony in relationship”. One person can forgive, but it takes two people to restore a broken relationship. Forgiveness alone neither guarantees nor demands reconciliation. Often much more is needed before reconciliation can (or should) take place, for example: repentance, restitution of the wrong, gaining back trust, or evidence of genuine change. If forgiveness is taken to mean “going back” to the offender as if nothing ever happened, then people will end up only with a cheap imitation of reconciliation, far unlike the genuine harmony in a restored relationship described in Scripture (1 Thess. 5:11; Rom. 12:10).” (Ref: “Does Forgiveness Mean Reconciliation” in Rose Book of Bible Charts Volume 3, page 17).

Similarly, on page 19, the author of this chapter says that on this side of heaven, we may not be able to forgive to the extent that we want to because we are still imperfect people in an imperfect world. What we are called to do is to continue moving forward and not to give up.

The chapter of money (pages 20 - 28) also contains a number of financial health checklist to keep our attitude towards money checked. In that same chapter, great tables listing scriptural verses from the book of Proverbs on money as well as the do’s and don’ts with money from the scriptures are also given.

The different suggestions on prayers such as the A-C-T-S method, the Lord’s prayer, as well as honest answers about prayers such as “When God says No”, “When God seems silent” and “Waiting for God to Answer” are comprehensively described.

A checklist on spiritual gift meant to help the readers to discern where they would fit in the church’s many ministries is given on pages 43-44. However, what I would like to see is the reference(s) where this checklist is taken from. As a matter of fact, many of the charts and tables given in the book do not have bibliographical references. I think this is a weakness of the book which should be rectified in future editions.

The chapter of spiritual disciplines contain some great lists and tables with scriptural references. For example, on page 45, a list of the metaphors of sins are given. Sin:

  • Captures (Prov. 5:22; Heb. 12:1)
  • Enslaves (Gen. 4:7; John 8:34; Rom. 7:14, 23; Gal. 3:22)
  • Is deadly (Rom. 6:23; 5:12; Eph. 2:1)
  • Is a sickness (Ps. 32:1–5; Isa. 53:5; Matt. 9:2, 5; 1 Peter 2:24)
  • Is impurity (Zech. 13:1; Ps. 51:2; Isa. 1:18)
  • Separates (Isa. 59:1–2; Eph. 2:12–16; 4:18)
The latter two sections of this book are about the various selected personalities from the Old Testament and the New Testament and the last chapter is on issues related to Christian and the church today. These issues include baptism, the Lord’s supper and creeds (and heresies).

In short, to me, this is a marvelous reference to have. Tons of materials that would probably be sufficient to last for more than a year of small group bible studies. Beautiful and informative charts, graphics and tables. One thing is lacking though - the deficiency of bibliographical references accompanying the various charts, checklist and tables. Who wrote these checklists, and if these checklists purport to measure something, how accurate are they, etc.

(Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the digital version of this material from Rose Publishing as part of their products bloggers review 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”)

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