Bible Revival: Recommitting Ourselves to One Book by Kenneth Berding
Ecstatic experiences and emotional highs are often indicative of revivals. Yet, these dramatic movements are many times drained of any lasting change in their participants because they are not rooted in a commitment to the Word of God. Kenneth Berding, in his new book Bible Revival, seeks to bring his readers into a close connection with the Bible and its significance for all of life, including revival. In six short chapters, Berding examines our present famine in regards to the Bible, why we should value the Good Book, and how Scripture transforms our lives as we are shaped by its message. For anyone wanting a book on why the Bible is so very important for the Christian life, this book is a good starting place.
Berding begins his look into the Bible by looking at our present famine for the Bible and lack of desire to study God’s Word. He hits the nail on the head when he writes of misplaced priorities in connection to the Bible. We watch more TV than read the Bible, we spend more time on social media than on Scripture, and we spend more time acting busy than reading the Word. All these things are excuses that allow us to distance ourselves from what really matters; God’s Word (24-26). Berding is right to call these things sin because they come before God in the way we handle our time. If studying God’s Word was important as we say it is, then these things would be secondary. Yet, the book isn’t just a jab in the side or a dose of guilt for the Christian who has left his Bible behind. In the Bible, we find “everything we need to come to salvation and to live godly lives that please him” (33). So, the Bible is actually for our good and not only for when we first become a Christian.
I found the chapter on applying the Word to be very beneficial. Berding gives us four diagnostic questions that are helpful: the text and the character of God, text and sin, text and Christ, biblical themes in the text. (66-67) The only thing I think that is missing here is an emphasis on the redemptive storyline of the Bible found in every book of the Bible. But, I think this point can be emphasized through God, sin, Christ, and particular themes. The reason I think Kenneth’s questions are so good is they place the emphasis more on God than the contemporary view that the Bible speaks only to me about my present situation. Berding paints a high view of seeing God and his glory in Scripture as primary rather than looking at the Bible through a ‘what’s it say to me approach.’
Overall, I found this book to be very practical in outlining the reasons why studying the Bible refreshes the soul and equips the Christian for every good work. Believers of every kind will be rewarded as they work through this book.
Thanks to Cross Focused Reviews and Weaver Book Company for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.