In Review: Straight to the Heart of Acts

RATING: 

Every once in a while I like to review Bibles and Bible resources.  However, with so much being published and produced about the Word, it’s hard to lock in on what’s worth purchasing.  Can I make a recommendation?  Phil Moore’s Straight to the Heart series.  While I’ve only read Straight to the Heart of Acts, I can tell this series is promising and will serve as a great resource.  Here’s why:

Moore writes with great pastoral wisdom.  Moore, a member of the Newfrontiers movement, is a fantastic teacher.  He’s not only knowledgable, but makes it relatable and immediately applicable.  As moore explains, Acts wasn’t written merely to excite or enthrall with how God moved in the early church.  It was also written to enlist you.

Each book contains “60 bite-sized insights.”  The idea behind the Straight to the Heart series is to target in on the absolute essentials of these books of the Bible.  Keeping these entries bite-sized means you don’t get overhwelmed with peripheral details.  The main things stay main.

The book is deep, yet conversational.  With commentaries I want readability.  If it takes reading and re-reading to understand, I’m going to struggle. With commentaries, I also want depth.  If you aren’t a scholar like me and you don’t have formal training in the original Biblical languages, you want someone who understands them.  So you have these two ideals in mind with commentaries: depth and readability.  Moore achieves both.

Moore emphasizes application.  When it comes to resources, I want something that will stretch my thinking and stir me to apply what I’m learning.  It’s too easy to study and not do something about it.  Moore challenges the reader to not engage the book of Acts like a history textbook.  It’s more than a wealth of encouraging testimonies and speeches from the world’s first Christians.  Acts is a summons.  In Acts, the God of the universe comes upon His people and makes them witnesses for His glory and renown.  The idea of a witness is not sitting around waiting for the end of the world to come, but has in mind one who actively testifies of the mercy, grace, and triumph of Christ’s death and resurrection.

Moore draws upon stories and history to shed light.  Phil Moore’s degree in History from Cambridge undoubtedly shines through as he draws upon the riches of stories both past and present to introduce each of his “bite-sized” insights.

RECOMMENDATION:

The Straight to the Heart series will bless, stir, challenge, and encourage you without overwhelming you as you study the Word.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel by request in order to review its material. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Caleb Gallifant

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