Thinking Out Loud

January 7, 2010

Duets: Quick Takes on Couples in the Bible

Filed under: books — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:10 pm

Reviewing a devotional book is about as impossible as reviewing a Bible dictionary or commentary; its utility is only proved over a period of constant use.   So I wasn’t sure how to approach Duets: Still in the Word…Still in the Mood by John & Anita Renfroe other than to binge-read large sections at a time.

When you’ve spent a lifetime in church, and your reading preference is toward longer detailed chapters, the value of a devotional — often skimmed in a hurry before leaving for work, or late at night before falling into sleep — is its ability to arrest you in your tracks with concepts from the text that you haven’t considered before, or heard expressed exactly that way previously.

That being the case, Duets scores very high marks.   The 52 four digest-size page readings — which includes text from The Message bible — are light in terms of word-count, but deep in terms of the thought and consideration that went into the exposition of each text.    Each deals with a Biblical couple, although several days are spent on a couple of key characters, such as Abraham and Sarah.

Each concludes with a one-sentence evaluation of where this couple succeeded (if they did), and where they failed (if they did).  Then there are questions, followed by an application question and a conclusion.

The idea is that couples can use this together and then pray together; however I found some of the Renfroe’s take on Old Testament stories so refreshing that with some quick on-the-fly editing, I read several of the selections out loud to my kids for several days.

Duets releases this month in hardcover  from David C. Cook at $16.99 U.S.    If the name Anita Renfroe seems familiar, but you can’t remember from where, check out the comedy DVD section of your local Christian bookstore.

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