Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book Review: Route 66, A Crash Course in Navigating Life with the Bible

WOW!  Right from the first page I have been excited about Route 66 by Krish Kandiah.  This book grabbed me and pulled me in immediately.  What is it about and why am I so excited?  Read on!

When I was a young adult, I listed "reading" as one of my hobbies.  But let's be honest, just about anyone can suck down a good fiction novel in no time at all.  Real reading has been a new endeavor over the past year and a half.  I am hitting everything from fiction to non-fiction to biographies and research tools.  My reading level and comprehension have increased.  I have also increased my ability to focus on and recall information I have read.  I can read faster now than ever before.  Reading is definitely an honest hobby now.

I have always struggled to read more than a chapter at a time of my Bible, and remember or comprehend even less afterward.  It can be frustrating.  I would go to church and listen to our pastor unpack a passage of scripture, tying it in to the bigger Gospel, making connections to other scripture, and I would just be in awe of how he was able to do that.  Maybe a little jealous of his ability to understand the Bible better than I do, and definitely discouraged thinking that I would never be able to unpack it on my own.  My inability to bring things together or understand the Bible makes it less interesting to read and, at times, downright boring.

Right off the bat, Krish says,

"God created the whole vast universe with a dozen words, and then put 800,000 more words into our hands.  Each word was chosen for a reason....As we look more closely at the beauty of the poetry, the precision of the laws, the passion of the prophets and much more, it is my prayer that our all-powerful God would reveal himself to us and work powerfully in us, so that we can live to please him in every way." (Route 66, p. 17)

It's not boring, it's the most important book that I can read!  And I have found an excellent tool for getting over my weakness in Route 66.  Let's face it, most of us are very busy.  We won't have time (in this life) to go to seminary and learn how to do what my pastor does so well.  Route 66 is a tool to help us understand the big picture of how scripture is divided up and ties back together.  It is a great place to start if you are like me and feel a little "lost" at times.  (Are you one of those people that fan open your Bible and read it wherever it lands?  You might need a road map.  Trust me.)

The over-arching theme of Route 66 is a "travel guide".  Many points are made using word-pictures that have to do with driving, cars, road trips, etc.  These form mental images that cement the information Krish presents and helps me remember it later.  The book is divided into a 8-week reading course, with 5 days of study plus 1 small-group study per week.  Each day ends with a "travel journal" section to put into practice what you have just read.  Don't miss this important part--skipping the response will mean that you lose the ability to let this sink in and change your Bible study habits.

While designed to be best used in a small-group setting, the book can also be used for an entire church, or individually.  I also think teens would enjoy doing a study with Route 66, whether on their own, for a home-school assignment, or in a small group.  If you are really adventurous, there is a guide provided for reading the Bible through in 8 weeks along with reading the book.  I don't think I could accomplish that task, but I would love to be involved with a small group reading this book.  I am buttering Micah up (14 years old, homeschooling 8th grade) to see if he will join me.

If you'd like more information about Route 66, please visit Krish's website here:  http://krishk.com/route66/.  There you will find free audio downloads, a sample chapter, and more!

I received a complementary copy of this book for review from Kregel Publications.  I was not required to write a positive review.  My thoughts and opinions are my own.  I'm very grateful for the opportunity to review it!

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