Friday, September 18, 2020

The Daily Bible Experience by F LaGard Smith

I have mixed emotions about this book. There are some good insights into Bible passages I really appreciated and there are some really silly aspects of this book that I did not appreciate.

First the good news. Smith has some informative commentaries on the daily readings. One example is his commentary on Joshua 6. The Israelites marched for seven days meaning one of those had to be a Sabbath. Sometimes breaking the rules is necessary to do God's work. Another is from 1 Samuel 16:7. Smith asks what would happen if we spent as much time on our souls as we do beautifying our physical bodies, becoming beautiful souls.

Sometimes Smith tries to explain puzzling passages. An example is 2 Samuel 14:14, “But God does not take away life...” He notes this is puzzling since “God has taken countless lives in punishment for sin.” He suggests, “The intended meaning, surely, is that God has no desire to take away lives.” (Loc 2670/5443) That seemed inadequate to me.

The silly aspect of the book comes in the questions asked at the end of each day's commentary. After a passing mention of bells, “The ringing question is...” (Loc 4080/5443) After the woman touching the hem of Jesus' garment, “The groping question is...” (Loc 4478/5443) His commentary on Colossians 3:1-2 includes a meaningless quiz that is a waste of time and is silly.

I really like the concept of devotions based on this popular Bible. I like the idea of asking thought provoking questions at the end of each devotional. Just don't expect anything consistently scholarly or with deep understanding. Many of the devotions are encouraging and insightful while others leave much to be desired.

You can see a preview and read excerpts of this book here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

F LaGard Smith is the author of more than 30 book and is the compiler of The Daily Bible©. He spends much of the year writing in the quiet Cotswolds of England.

Harvest House Publishers, 384 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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