Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Review - Old Testament Stories from the Back Side

Book Review for
Old Testament Stories from the Back Side
By J. Ellsworth Kalas
Review by Judy Vandiver

Today’s blog is a book review of a book I’ve had on my bookshelf for about ten years. I’ve pulled it from my shelf many times. The pages are dog-eared and splattered coffee stains throughout the book attest that it has become an old friend.

Old Testament Stories from the Back Side is a collection of twelve short stories told with a twist. Kalas uses an approach for each story by retelling familiar tales from the Bible from unique points of view. Many sermons have been preached on the patience of Job, but Kalas comes to the defense of Job’s wife. Little is said about her in the Bible, but much can be surmised from the situation. Read about those that not only suffer, but stand alongside the suffering.

Read about a Biblical character that faced a midlife crisis and ended up saving God’s chosen race. Learn about the mother of another man who played an instrumental role in Old Testament history. And I’m sure most of us can tell others what the first sin in the Bible was. But can you identify the second sin in the Bible? Read why Kalas says the second sin is worse than the first one.

I’ve enjoyed revisiting old Bible stories, but from a different viewpoints. Kalas brings to light many hidden messages and truths that are often over-looked within scripture, because our attention is on the main character or a certain point. Kalas helps us visualize the whole story.

Each story is ten pages or less. They can be read for a morning or weekly devotional time and they make great material for a group Bible study. Bible study questions are not included but the stories easily open themselves up for group discussion.

About the Author

J. Ellsworth Kalas is a professor of Homiletics at Asbury Theological Seminary. He has spent thirty-eight years as a United Methodist pastor and five years in evangelism with the World Methodist Council. He has authored over thirty books and many of them follow his popular “Back-Side” format.

Below is a link I found connecting you to Amazon and the sale of Old Testament Stories from the Back Side.”

Review of Old Testament Stories from the Back Side - ©2009 by Judy Vandiver

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