Monday, September 1, 2014

The Life {a Tyndale Blog Network review}

I don't think I really knew what to expect when I requested The Life from Tyndale House Publishing for review.  Published along with Youth for Christ, this is essentially a Magazine version of a portion of the New Testament.

That description wouldn't have convinced me to check it out though.    And that would have been a shame.

This feels a lot like a Reader's Digest... same basic size, maybe a bit thinner, same type magazine paper.  The table of contents feels that way too, so as I opened it up to read it, this definitely felt comfortable and familiar.

Of course, I don't know how many teens these days read things like Reader's Digest, so maybe there is a better comparison that I could make that would be relevant to the Millennial Generation.  For me, though, this is what I think of.

Opening it up, there is a brief introduction, talking about how Your Story and God's Story can overlap, and encouraging people to imagine Your Story becoming more intertwined with God's.

Then it goes into the NLT version of the Bible, with magazine-like headings for some of the sections.  There is some stuff that is not straight out of the Bible (some little devotional-type sayings/pictures, for instance) but the vast majority is straight from the Bible.  Included are:
  • The Book of John
  • In some little cut-in types of articles, there are some excerpts from Luke
  • Acts 1-11
  • James
  • 1 John
Each book of the Bible (except Luke) has a brief, paragraph-long introduction.  Most encourage you to get into the Bible to read more.

In between Acts (1-11) and James, there is a two-page spread called "Letters from Jesus' Earliest Followers" that explains the letters in general, and includes some sizable excerpts:
  • Romans 5:8
  • Romans 8:38-39
  • Romans 12:2
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
  • Galatians 5:22-23
  • Ephesians 3:17-19
  • Colossians 1:15-20
There is also a concluding section that ties back to the intro, about finding life in Jesus.

Awesome resource.  In a number of ways.  First, the magazine format is appealing and not intimidating.  Second, it is skinny and easy to carry -- which is also not intimidating.  Third, the photos break up the text and help with the appealing, easy-to-grasp, magazine feel, without being extraneous.  They emphasize the points being made in the Bible text.  And finally, it doesn't scream out "THIS IS A BIBLE" when you pull it out of a backpack to read it.  That is something I know I'd have appreciated as a high school student.

Connor (17) commented that he loves that it is the book of John being featured, since most of the time, John is the book that people recommend that you read first.  He also really likes the look of this resource, that it is something that would be easy to give to a friend.

Bottom line:  Love this resource.  I'm tempted to pick up a dozen ($4.99 each) to hand to the teens at my church.

Disclaimer:   I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers.  No other compensation was received.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.

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