Thomas Nelson Publishers has been kind enough to send me a free copy of Larry Crabb’s latest book: 66 Love Letters: A Conversation with God that Invites you into His Story. The book’s premise is simple: each of the 66 chapters move through the Bible (in canonical order), the content revealed in a series of imagined conversations between God and the author. Conceptually appealing, though not without drawbacks.
Positively the book…
…succinctly summarizes each book’s content into digestible units of prose, then expound on this theme in the context of conversation.
…challenges the status quo of prosperity-driven Christianity,
…orients the text in the context of relationship.
…the book’s format does a better job of explaining each book, rather than constructing an overarching Biblical story.
…the lens of “love letters” lends itself too easily to theological imprecision. Subjects such as wrath, justice and judgment are mentioned, though the dominant lens of love tends to minimize these issues.
…the conversational approach lacks development. The repetitive dialogue is often more tedious than engaging.
The book would be great for…
…pastors seeking a fresh, homiletical approach to sermon preparation. Since the book is not written as an academic work, it may help pastors tap into the needs of their people.
…small groups (or even family devotionals), especially seekers and those new to the faith. The book contains a link to an optional study guide, making the book a good resource for small groups.
…anyone unfamiliar (or intimidated) by the idea of reading the Bible.