Story Thru the Bible by Chris Tiegreen is all about teaching Godís Word through oral storytelling. The main thrust of the book is helping people recite biblical stories in an engaging manner. Therefore, the book breaks down 52 stories straight out of the Bible and inserts them into a very structured, well-designed format.
The author believes human beings learn best from stories. It doesnít matter if theyíre found in a book, a short story, a movie, or a video game, good stories are enjoyed by most folks. Who doesnít? And the Bible is packed with the greatest stories ever told, with each just itching to leap off the page and burrow into a personís heart.
We sometimes carry around these preconceived notions that the Bible is a dusty old book filled with boring genealogies, detailed laws, and names that are, well, bizarre (like Jegar-sahadutha. Who names her kid that?). The truth is that the Bible is anything but dull. Tiegreen argues that if we would learn to communicate the stories found within Godís Word effectively, we would bring life to our Bible studies, our Sunday schools, our churches, and even our family devotions.
Story Thru the Bible was written with Bible study leaders in mind. Itís not really meant for individual use, but, instead, is aimed at group discussion. Each of the 52 Bible stories is put into an organized and incredibly easy-to-use grid. The layout breaks the story into areas such as theme, background information, questions, and takeaway application. Tiegreen is both a devotional writer and an editor with a background in pastoral work, missionary trips, church planting, journalism, photography, and teaching at a university. Heís well qualified to pen a book dealing with the stories found within the pages of Scripture.
ďThe Bible is a book of stories,Ē is how Tiegreen opens the introduction. He is quick to inform us that God did not give us a thick textbook on religion, but stories to show us who God is. Tiegreen persuades with passion that people learn best from stories and then proceeds to prove his theory by presenting a slew of them. One by one, the stories are dissected and made ready for anyone to communicate orally their richness and intelligent dialogue with others through thought-provoking questions.
Story Thru the Bible succeeds at being a solid starting point for a new believers study, or perhaps a family devotional. The format is polished and extremely easy to follow. The discussion questions given after each story are insightful, and challenge readers to think. The book does a great job at showing how to be a conversation starter. Where I feel the book falls short is in the paraphrasing of the Scripture. I wish more descriptive words had been used and that the stories would have been fleshed out to a much more imaginative degree. Instead, we are given basic paraphrases of the story as it is found in Scripture, and this made me wonder if a study Bible would be more sufficient.
As it stands, Story Thru the Bible is a nice beginning text for teachers of new believers. It will cause people to want to dig deeper into the text. It will get people talking. It will likely make folks hungrier for Godís Word. When it comes time to set the book down, I think youíll agree with me that Tiegreen is right: humans do learn best from stories. And no one tells a better story than God. Ė Dana L. Timmerman, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Does your Sunday school class or Bible study lack luster? Do you wonder how to engage your children in bedtime devotions? Are you tired of teaching in a redundant format?
How about storying through the Bible? For centuries, people have passed on their heritage and history through oral storytelling. In Story Thru the Bible, you will learn an easy hands-on approach to oral teaching that engages the listener while sharing a biblical worldview. The step-by-step guide uses fifty-two Bible stories adaptable to any culture or age group.