While the title implies exclusively Bible study-oriented material, the Rose Bible Basics series is far more broad, serving as an introduction not only to the Bible itself, but also to Christian history, denominational distinctives, doctrine, and basic apologetics. Each volume (twelve in all) is visually engaging and accessible, compacting a lot of information without making it overwhelming. The text is easy to read and doesn't assume previous knowledge of the subjects discussed, making the series a good choice for new believers or high school students without much background in Bible or general Christian studies.
How Do These Work?
The volumes are 110 pages apiece, with extra workbook pages in the back (except Christian History Made Easy, which is twice that length). Each one focuses on a particular aspect of Christian studies, in an attempt to provide students an overview of their faith from the ground up. The book Jesus, for instance, is basically an introduction to Christology, while Why Trust the Bible investigates basic apologetics through traditional historical and textual arguments. A fair amount of space in each text is devoted to identifying erroneous beliefs often associated with the Church, while making sure the correct views are also represented.
Every text is thoroughly illustrated with photographs, paintings, maps, etc. Charts and graphs help students find Bible passages easily, and to put various aspects of Church history into perspective. A number of insets add insight or extra detail to the main text, but there are generally few enough that they don't clutter the pages too much. There is no specific denominational stance taken; doctrine presented is orthodox and Evangelical without preferencing any group in non-essential matters.
These books not only present the basics of Christian belief, they offer advice and insights into continued study and investigation. While written at a high school level, these would also be good choices for a small group or Bible study for new believers, or Christians who have a hard time putting the big picture together in their heads. If you've been to seminary you won't find anything new or particularly compelling here, but for those who need or want to be more familiar with the fundamentals of their faith and don't have the time to take classes, this is a good place to start.
Our Honest Opinion:
Generic introductions to Christian beliefs often fall embarrassingly short—this series is very good. While it doesn't have the depth many people are looking for, those who aren't as equipped will be genuinely educated without being overwhelmed. And while the books are very engaging and appealing, they aren't merely entertaining; the information is well-researched and pertinent, clearly presented, and Biblically-based. If you're looking for a good introduction to further Biblical or theological study for your high school students, this may be the place to start.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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