Making Sense of the Bible: Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today [Paperback]
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Making Sense of the Bible: Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today [Paperback]

HarperOne / 2015 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW234988

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Product Description

Denominations from evangelical to mainline continue to experience deep divisions over universal social issues. The underlying debate isn't about a particular social issue, but instead it is about how we understand the nature of scripture and how we should interpret it. The world's bestselling, most-read, and most-loved book is also one of the most confusing. In Making Sense of the Bible, Adam Hamilton, one of the country's leading pastors and Christian authors, addresses the hot-button issues that plague the church and cultural debate, and answers many of the questions frequently asked by Christians and non-Christians alike.

Did God really command Moses to put gay people to death? Did Jesus really teach that everyone who is not a Christian will be assigned to hell? Why would Paul command women to "keep silent in the church?" Were Adam and Eve real people? Is the book of Revelation really about the end times? Who decided which books made it into the scriptures and why? Is the Bible ever wrong? In approachable and inviting language, Hamilton addresses these often misunderstood biblical themes leading readers to a deeper appreciation of the Bible so that we might hear God speak through it and find its words to be life-changing and life-giving.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: HarperOne
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.0 X 5.32 X 1.04 (inches)
ISBN: 0062234986
ISBN-13: 9780062234988

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Author Bio

Adam Hamilton is the founding pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City. Started in 1990 with four people, the church has grown to become the largest United Methodist Church in the United States with over 18,000 members. The church is well known for connecting with agnostics, skeptics, and spiritual seekers. In 2012, it was recognized as the most influential mainline church in America, and Hamilton was asked by the White House to deliver the sermon at the Obama inaugural prayer service. Hamilton, whose theological training includes an undergraduate degree from Oral Roberts University and a graduate degree from Southern Methodist University where he was honored for his work in social ethics, is the author of nineteen books. He has been married to his wife, LaVon, for thirty-one years and has two adult daughters.


When I think about how many people have been turned off to the Christian faith because of how they mis-read and mis-understand the Bible, I can only say, 'Thank you Jesus for this book!' It’s going to help a lot of people.
-Tony Campolo,
Founder and President, Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education

Wondrously accessible, Hamilton combines good scholarship with a light touch and exhibits his wise, generous pastoral heart. Hamilton does not let us forget that he bears witness to the gospel and the result is a discussion that permits readers to think again and faithfully about the Bible.
-Walter Brueggemann,
Columbia Theological Seminary

Clear, straightforward, lucid, faithful, helpful. Highly recommended.
-James Martin, SJ,
author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage

This is an honest, relevant, and captivating book. Hamilton asks taboo questions and refuses cliche answers. He invites you to join him on a quest for truth, and even if you don’t arrive at the same destination, you will sure enjoy the ride.
-Shane Claiborne,
author and activist

Acting as friend and guide to those who seek to read the Bible intelligently and with spiritual insight, Hamilton walks readers through the pitfalls of fundamentalism and dry scholarship, opening up both the Bible's profound humanity and its wisdom for living.
-Diana Butler Bass,
author of Christianity After Religion

I can think of no one more adept at bringing out the beauty and authority of scripture while also shedding light on the Bible's most controversial teachings than Adam Hamilton. This is a must read for anyone who is looking for a fuller understanding of the Bible.
-Jim Wallis,
president and founder of Sojourners

If you hope there's a better way to read, live by, and value the Bible, Hamilton has written the book that will help you-and people you know and love. It's understandable. It's honest. It’s wise. And it's so, so needed.
-Brian D. McLaren,
author of We Make the Road by Walking

Product Reviews

3.3 Stars Out Of 5
3.3 out of 5
3.4 out Of 5
(3.4 out of 5)
3.2 out Of 5
(3.2 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
3.2 out Of 5
(3.2 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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  1. Reval
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    April 26, 2017
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I think Hamilton put into writing what a lot of folks think when they read through the Bible. I am thinking of the times the passage doesn't sound like love God shows through God's Son. Violence, suffering, the role of women, slavery, and others are addressed in a helpful way. The verdict around the table at our Bible study the other night was, "This has been really helpful, I am glad I came and I want to share it with (someone else). I like the format. Book, leader's guide and dvd.
  2. johngracemark
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    "Making Sense of the Bible" -- from one point of view
    January 4, 2015
    Quality: 2
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    The book is divided into two sections, first discussing the Bible itself and its content, then offering answers to some of the more well-known "Frequently Asked Questions." The author's "15-minute surveys" of the Old and New Testament adequately expressed much of the thought behind the major themes of the Bible. At the end of the first section, the author attempts to address the big questions regarding inspiration and inerrancy, neither of which was satisfying.

    In the second section of the book, he leads off with a chapter entitled "Science, The Bible, and Creation Stories." He accuses those he claims believe the Bible uncritically of a biased approach to this topic, though he falls right into the same trap by believing "science" uncritically. "Science says it, I believe it, and that settles it." The author was not so blatant with his bias in the first section of the book, but halfway into the first chapter of the second section he made his viewpoint very clear.

    At times, he contradicted himself in the same sentence. One moment, he says "well, you can't believe this bit from the Bible;" in the next he is saying "here is something to stake your life on." His faith seems to be in his own judgment: "I can pick and choose what makes me feel good. I believe it; that settles it."

    This book is a particularly obvious illustration of the saying that "nothing is totally worthless; it can always serve as a bad example."

    To learn what the Bible teaches, read it. To learn about the Bible, you'll be much better served reading "Evidence that Demands a Verdict."
  3. Ev
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    Making Nonsense of the Bible
    October 16, 2014
    Quality: 1
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    After reading this book Hamilton tells you that you cannot trust the OTor the NT.You can't trust what Paul has said.and we can't trust what Jesus has said.It sounds like Hamilton is teaching right from the Jesus Seminar of 1985.He is also teaching situational ethics.Leading you to believe that a handful scriptures as no longer binding so same-sex marriages can be officiated in the church.This book should be renamed Making Nonsense of the Bible.
  4. midge
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    August 22, 2014
    This book is an asset to anyone who is serious about understanding the Bible. It helps one think outside the box.

    I, personally have been validated by the information in the book.
  5. Loren Haas
    Napa, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Seminary in a One Volume.
    May 19, 2014
    Loren Haas
    Napa, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Adam Hamilton has distilled much of a seminary education into one readable volume. In the first section he covers the Old and New Testament including the history of who, when and how they were written. His analysis of the meaning of and problems with the two testaments is insightful.

    In the second section he covers topics raised by the scripture. Science and the Bible, God's Violence in the Old Testament, Women Need not Apply, and Homosexuality and the Bible and many more are all chapter headings.

    One of Hamilton's goals is to bring a seminary level discussion of the bible to lay people. Pastors tend serve up a more bland and less challenging version to their congregants. They play it safe, but consequently misrepresent the full depth and meaning of scripture.

    If you want to go along with the crowd, then do not read this book. If, however, you want to take a high view of the bible and understand it for all that it is worth I highly recommend "Making Sense of the Bible..."
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