Dr. James Sire’s book “Beginning with God” serves no other purpose other than to expose the curious reader to the truths of the Bible. If Christianity does not begin with God, it is not Christianity. This book is “personal” and even “conversational”. I think we often try to complicate some of the clearest teachings of Christianity with theological jargon that seems to only be known to scholars. Dr. Sire’s book, however, is simple in its presentation; no theological jargon involved.
There are a few things I appreciate about this book. The first has already been mentioned. I like that it is simple. It is not an expansive systematic theology, but it discusses the basics needed to “scratch the surface” (preface) of the Christian faith. I would say this is a book for “beginning” Christians. Second, I appreciate the study questions after each chapter. Often times we discuss theology but feel “dumb” asking questions (especially if we are new to the faith). This book approaches this in a different manner in that it reflects what the reader had encountered in the chapter as well as personalizing the questions for response. The key for theology, and for any teaching in Christianity, is how Christians should apply it. Sire’s book is applicable theology. Third, I simply appreciate the size of the book. It is small. It is personal. However, it is a great primer to the Christian faith.
I am not denouncing the usage of systematic theologies. However, not every Christian has time (unfortunately) or wants to read these large volumes of theology. Sire’s book takes large amounts of information and concepts to their basic ideas for all Christians to understand and respond.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from InterVarsity Press. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and a positive review was not required. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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