Bill Bright, . . Tyndale, $19.99 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-8423-8618-0

Before his death in the summer of 2003, Bright wrote this how-to book on unpacking the Bible's contents. The cofounder of Campus Crusade for Christ and prolific author of more than 100 books and pamphlets (including the famous "Four Spiritual Laws"), Bright spent his life telling everyone he encountered about the transforming power of Christ. This book is the first installment of a two-volume Discover God series of books that Bright finished before his death. Within its pages, readers with absolutely zero prior biblical experience will learn to navigate their way around the 66 Old and New Testament books. Bright expounds with immense zeal and obvious delight on the Bible's rich resources for living in today's world. In four extensive sections, he sets down the reasons for believing in the Bible, imparts suggestions for understanding its contents, concisely describes its substance and offers tips on applying its lessons to readers' lives. A particularly fine appendix provides succinct descriptions of each book in the Bible. Although Bright's introduction to the Bible is thorough, comprehensive and effectively organized, much of the writing falls flat. Readers must be prepared to encounter a textbook-style presentation rather than an inspirational read. Still, countless Christians, from those new to the faith to more seasoned spiritual sojourners, will undoubtedly discover useful ideas for digging deeper into the Bible's teachings. (Mar.)

Forecast: This book and its companion, Discover the Real Jesus (which releases later this year), were designed to complement the "Discover God" small group movement that Bright founded. Bright also began a Discover God Study Bible that will be completed by his staff as a tribute to his spiritual legacy.