Erre wrote an okay book a while back called Jesus of Suburbia and then a good one called Why Guys Need God and an even better one called Death By Church. He has gone beyond “hitting his stride” on this one, and has given us a master-piece, a great, great book—now my favorite introduction to the Bible. I thought this might be mostly apologetics, insights about how to combat disbelief or to assure us of the reliability of the ancient texts. His bibliography in the back (which is excellent) has plenty of those sorts of resources listed and categorized for beginners, moderate-level, or more advanced researchers. (Those who do ministry with skeptics might get the book just for this biblio.)
But, no, this is not what I thought, not exactly what the sub-title suggests—it is so much better! Why does the Bible matter? It is God’s Story. Stories show us what the world is like, and the Bible tells the truest story of all. By borrowing generously from Mike Goheen and Craig Bartholomew (The Drama of Scripture will be described—again—below) and N.T. Wright and Leslie Newbigin and Mike Witmer and others who explore the essential narrative nature of Scripture, Erre has brought to a very popular reading level, some of the best Biblical innovations of our generation. That is, he has read pretty widely, kept an open mind, brought together insights and teaching points from these other great scholars, and put ‘em together in one heck of a readable and fun and funny book. I’m telling you: this is the best introduction to the Bible, the best overview, the finest handbook to go along with your reading, especially if you have a bit of a youngish reading style. Mike Erre is a hipster guy, formerly working at some missional church plant and eager to communicate well to a new generation of younger adults. I love his stories, I love how he invites us into the Biblical story, how a Christian world-and-life view can shape who we are and how we live. It is thorough enough to walk us through each phrase of the unfolding story, but it doesn’t get bogged down in detail. It serves its purpose beautifully. This is it!
(Posted on Hearts & Minds Books)