cover image The Bible Reset: Simple Breakthroughs to Make Scripture Come Alive

The Bible Reset: Simple Breakthroughs to Make Scripture Come Alive

Alex Goodwin. NavPress, $16.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-641-58736-5

“The Bible can still speak to us today, and not in the minimalistic, cherry-picked ways we’ve been settling for,” promises this approachable debut guide from Goodwin, cofounder of the Institute for Bible Reading. Assuring those who struggle with reading the Bible that they aren’t alone (his own attempts often left him “confused, frustrated, and bored”), Goodwin posits that such formatting roadblocks as multiple columns and numbered verses lend the impression “of an overcrowded textbook.” The more “readable Bible” created by Goodwin and colleagues at the Institute for Bible Reading excised such “modern additives” as chapter and verse numbers and reshuffled the order of books in the New Testament so that they more “naturally correspond”; this “intuitive” reading approach allows readers to experience the Bible’s “lifeblood” in “all its strangeness and wonder,” according to Goodwin. Christians seeking to revive their own practice can begin by using his or any reader’s Bible, reading books from start to finish (rather than isolated passages), and refraining from carving out passages to advance personal agendas, while Bible study groups should keep conversations organic and stick to readers’ “impressions of the text” rather than hewing to “right or wrong answers.” Goodwin’s insights are practical, digestible, and will go a long way in helping frustrated believers reframe the Bible as a rich and complex “grand narrative” rather than a collection of bumper-sticker quotes. The faithful will be inspired. (Oct.)