Review: 16 Words + Chris Bruno = Bible

screen-shot-2017-01-12-at-8-00-58-pmThis equation confused me too as I stared at the title of Bruno’s book The Whole Message of the Bible in 16 Words. I can tell you my first thought: “Liar, liar, pants on fire!”

Let’s be honest, the Bible is giant, and even those who sit in mass or worship service year after year do not know The Whole Thing. Yes, after so many years, attendees have technically heard, read, or sang the entire contents of the Bible. However, distilling it into sixteen words? *Insert skeptical chin scratch* What I’m trying to say is: I don’t believe you, Bruno!

To read more about if Bruno successfully kept this high-brow skeptic reading, continue. “16 Words” is due to be published February 28, 2017, by Crossway. 🙂 

First things first, Bruno teaches one very important lesson here: Titles matter. This title had me from the beginning. I have gone to parochial school all my life, and I’ve been attending Catholic mass and Christian events in the decade+ since that time. But even I thought “OOOOHHHH!!!! 16 words?! Prove it!”

Titles. They get ya’ every time.

The premise of Bruno’s book is simple: the Bible can be summed up by sixteen important words, which serve to show “the whole story of the Bible as a rope that is woven tightly together. The goal… is to pull our sixteen key strands that compose this rope, look at how they contribute to the overall message” (Foreward).

As such, the sixteen words are: [The] End, God, Creation, Covenant, Kingdom, Temple, Messiah, Israel, Land, Idols, Judgment, Exodus, Wisdom, Law, Spirit, and Mission.

…the hope and reality of every Christian is that God himself—not the president, Parliament, Apple, or the United Nations—is making all things new. This reality should change the way we see everything in the world—and the way we read everything in our Bibles.

In this short book, each word is described, given context, and proven to be a valid word to sum up the Bible’s entirety. Each section has references to one’s own life (to develop relate-ability), references to the Bible itself with quotes (usually from NIV), and an ending summary which suggests readings and 2-3 sentences reviewing the section.

I would recommend this book to anyone trying to get back into their faith who needs a refresher course on the main aspects of the Bible. I would also recommend it to prayer groups or Lenten study groups, as it offers sections of the Bible for readings and can easily be broken into parts. It is a great conversation starter, that’s for sure.

Clearly the book doesn’t sum up the Bible in only sixteen words, but it does offer sixteen starting points for learning, discussion, and further study of what most readers will consider to be their faith. Bruno didn’t lie in his title, but he definitely offers more than sixteen words to explain each of his sixteen words. 🙂

Well played, Bruno. Well played.

I received an advanced copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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