A Tale of Two Kingdoms $23
Guardian Books/Essence Publishing
God's Unfolding Story of Salvation $22
Resource Publishing, an implant of Wipf & Stock Publishers
Heather A. Kendall
Ages: High School-Adult
I received two books to review, written by Heather A. Kendall. I thought these books were to be used together in a survey of the Bible, but it appears that they are not lined up to be used in that manner in an easy way. It can be done, but the divisions are slightly different, so I will treat them as two separate books, rather than one resource.
I spent most of my time reading A Tale of Two Kingdoms. This book is intended to be a survey of the Bible's main themes: The redemption of man through Jesus Christ and the feeble attempts of Satan to thwart God's plan. I did not get all the way through this book. Shortly into the reading, some things the author said did not sit well with me. So I went and re-read passages several times and went to her website to see if there was any insight there. I am not sure I can pinpoint anything specific...it just seemed like many statements on her website were in an all or nothing sort of tone, broad brushing everyone of this group as being these characteristics. Maybe I am reading more into the words than what was there...I am not sure...Back to the book though, this statement, for example, didn't sit well with me:
" Do you inwardly chuckle when a good person sins? Beware of the sin of Ham. When the Lord looked into the heart of Canaan, the son of Ham, he saw one who probably approved of his father's behaviour, whereas Ham's other three sons did not" This seemed to question the sovereignty and omnipotence of HIM who knows all...the Lord does not look to see what is going on...HE knows the beginning from the ending...since before time began.
Another passage that didn't sit well with me was this one, " Moses spent the next forty years in the wilderness with Reuel, a priest of Midian (Exod. 2:15-21). Reuel was a descendant of Keturah, Abraham's third wife (Gen. 25:1-4). Through Reuel, Moses learned more about the one true God." Ok...while this COULD be true, I have only read about Jethro (Exodus 18 also Reuel???) suggesting that Moses appoint overseers to meet daily with the people, so that he would not get wearied hearing every case, but he would hear the most important cases. I was under the impression that Moses learned more about the ONE TRUE GOD FROM the ONE TRUE GOD, see Exodus 3, 4, etc...
While I believe that reading the Bible is the MOST IMPORTANT thing we can do (Gives us daily nourishment and communication with our GREAT GOD!)I do want to say, that I think a Bible Survey is a good thing. I think it is good for believers to see the larger picture of God's plan, as much as we can understand or that which has been revealed to us. I know as a brand new believer at 23ish...I KNEW NOTHING of the Bible...NOT ONE THING...and so I read many children's story Bibles so that I could get a feel for the main stories in the Bible. I think that having a resource like this would have been helpful, but I didn't know where to look or what to ask for. While I was hoping this book would be that resource, I feel like it falls short.
I thought the Points to Ponder at the end of each chapter was a helpful way to summarize the main ideas in the chapter. These were short sentences, easy to read, an accurate bite of what was just read.
It appears that I do not agree with some of the author's points in her book
The story line of the Bible was hard to follow...it was a bit choppy and the author's personal illustrations/testimonies were more of a distraction for me than a clear segue into the survey of the Bible.
If you would like to get a better feel for A Tale of Two Kingdoms, you can view the free download
God's Unfolding Story of Salvation
The Christ Centered Biblical Storyline
This book is similar to the book mentioned above, but it is a bit more interactive. Rather than being more of a narrative of the Biblical theme, it is more of a Bible Study, allowing the student to draw conclusions and read from the Word of God themselves and be instructed by the Holy Spirit Himself into the way of truth. This book is divided into 4 main sections: Preparing for the Promised Seed; The Prophets: Waiting for the Promised Seed: Jesus, the Promised Seed; and The Church: Proclaiming the Promised Seed. These four divisions have a total of 38 lessons to work through, which could be studied at any time, but might be good to work through for Easter or in the Summer.
I like that the student is studying the Word in the context of doing a Biblical survey. This allows for the Holy Spirit to teach, rather than a person.
There are application and reflection questions...time to ponder the Word and then become a doer of the Word, not just a hearer.
The lessons seem pretty short and the questions in the main part of each lesson look pretty easy. This means that on days when time is short, a study of the Word is still do-able. Also, this study could be done by high school students and newer believers. I remember as a newer believer that going to a Bible study was a bit intimidating...what if they call on me, what if I don't know the answers, etc. It does not look like this would be an issue.
I am a little leery of giving my full recommendation for this book because I had some issues with the other book. I did not get all the way through either book, so I cannot make comments for the parts I did not complete. I will say though, God's Unfolding Story of Salvation was better in my opinion.
You can preview a download of God's Unfolding Story of Salvation here
You can read what others had to say about these books here