book review: Passages

Title: Passages: How Reading The Bible In A Year Will Change Everything For You

Author: Brian Hardin

Publisher: Zondervan

Complimentary Copy from: Litfuse Publicity Group

Rating: A

Every bibliophile has a list. You know, the “special list” containing the prized books that touch our hearts or speak to our soul in such a profound way as to deem them worthy of the ‘top shelf’ of the bookcase. They become our ‘reference’, ‘go-to’, or ‘feel good’ reads for a rainy day as they have earned the right to be experienced over and over again, each time providing new insights and nuggets of goodness. Titles that have made it to my “special list” list include: “Life Together” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. “No Future Without Forgiveness” by Desmond Tutu. “Strive Toward Freedom” by Martin Luther King, Jr. “The Eyes of the Dragon” by Stephen King. “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. “Surprised By Oxford” by Carolyn Weber. “Destined” by Aprilynne Pike. “A Walk To Remember” by Nicholas Sparks. (Etc.)

To this list I will now add Passages by Brian Hardin.

Here are my reasons why.

Brian Hardin “gets it.” And by “gets it,” I mean he understands that most people are sick of hearing clichés, tired of ineffective “secrets to a better life” hype permeating pop-culture, and frustrated by the sanitized masks worn by many Christians who paint a picture that all is well when in reality, life is spinning out of control. You won’t find any of that in the pages of Passages. What you will find, refreshingly, is an honest account of a life full of plans that derailed, one by one. Mr. Hardin is eloquent and forthright in retelling his tumble to rock bottom. Equally poetic and compelling is the gradual process through which through which Hardin’s life is transformed. The author continually points to the Bible as the source of hope that produced drastic, positive changes in his life.

One of my all-time favorite books on exploring the dynamics of community is “Life Together” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I feel Passages just may qualify as the modern version of “Life Together.” I understand I may have just ruffled a few feathers. Settle down. I stand by my opinion. Page after page of Passages is filled with nuggets of truth, wisdom, and practical advice. In so honestly sharing the path of growth as a result of reading the Bible every day, Hardin challenges the reader to analyze the hundreds of messages bombarding us on a daily basis. Hardin walks the reader through the many personal and communal benefits received from reading the Bible systematically and in context. This experience changed Hardin’s life, leading him to a deeper connection with others in the process. As a result of reading the Bible each day, Hardin found a meaningful sense of purpose, gained a healthy perspective and outlook on life, learned how to develop deeper relationships with others, and discovered the tools for making wise decisions in all areas of life. Hardin’s promise: the same result and fulfillment is available to you.

I appreciate Hardin’s emphasis on reading the Bible in context and practicing the discipline of lectio divina. We are a nation of consumers, no doubt. The “shop around” mentality has, according to Hardin, impacted the way many approach the Bible, seeking less to read the Bible with the intention of understanding the context (and larger framework), as receiving a quick-fix by popping around the pages with little guided direction. Hardin also draws connection to the ways in which a hurried, over-committed lifestyles negatively impact efforts to read the Bible thoughtfully, giving full consideration and attention to the text. The practice of lectio divina is one way to remain focused while reading the Bible and allowing the text to speak into our lives in a reflective way.

Whether young, old, or middle-aged, Passages has something meaningful to offer. If you are curious about the Bible, pick up a copy of Passages. If you feel that life is not what you planned and are in need of a change, pick up a copy of Passages. If you are simply looking for a well written book to add to your “to-read” list, pick up a copy of Passages. You will be changed for the better having read about Hardin’s journey.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via Litfuse Publicity Group, in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book

Many Christians feel guilty when they think of reading the Bible. Though they want to love reading Scripture, they rarely have time for more than a few verses on the run. But the Bible is not meant to be a burden. It is the story of God’s passionate love for His children. It is also not a book of mystical incantations. It is a best friend offering counsel and companionship. And it is not a distant relic, but something very near. Near enough, in fact, to be every reader’s story.

So how do Christians delight in this story rather than see it as a source of failure? The founder of the immensely popular Daily Audio Bible, Brian Hardin shows readers how reading through the Bible in a year will change their life and the lives of others. Passages shows readers how to read the Bible and offers practical ideas for immersing themselves in God’s life-giving words. Here readers will discover that reading the Bible can be a breathtaking adventure.

About the Author

Brian Hardin is a speaker, photographer, record producer and an ordained minister. In 2006, he created the Daily Audio Bible, an online podcast that now delivers 1.5 million downloads a month. He has produced over 150 albums and works with artists and the arts extensively. He is married to Christian musician Jill Parr.

Find out more about Brian at: www.dailyaudiobible.com

What others are saying:

To view other reviews of Passages posted on the Litfuse blog tour, click here.

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2 comments

  1. Mr. Hardin,

    You are welcome. Thank you for stopping by my little blog and thank you for the kind words. Passages is a book I will continue to read (and refer) over and over again. I found it very insightful, challenging, and encouraging.

    ~Su

  2. Thank you for writing what I believe is my favorite review of Passages. I’m overwhelmingly humbled by the company you’ve placed this book in. Thanks. -Brian

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