Saturday, April 17, 2010

Storylines by Mike Pilavachi and Andy Croft

Storylines: Your Map to Understanding the Bible image Storylines: Your Map to Understanding the Bible by Mike Pilavachi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Storylines is a refreshing look at the Bible and the story of God's love that weaves it's way through from beginning to end. Andy and Mike explain the Bible in an overview of six stories. Their humor was fun and enjoyable and made the book feel like a relaxing conversation with friends. I appreciated the fresh look at what these six story lines mean to us here and now and how these two men use examples we can relate to in order to make it come alive in our own minds.

I would have rated this book with five stars if it hadn't been for one red flag on page 23 where it reads as if baptism plays a part in our actual salvation. It is only one sentence, but still I believe one needs to exercise discernment in reading and hence I will recommend this book but with this caution. However, the rest of the book is wonderful and gives many examples that make the Bible come to life. In fact, I also have marked several pages that grabbed my attention and helped clarify in my mind a Biblical truth.

This book is frank on matters and because of that I recommend this to only adults and older teens. While it's directness is not meant for younger readers, it will most likely help you understand the Bible in ways you have not before. Storylines is a cool glass of lemonade on a warm summer day!


Across our nation, thousands upon thousands of people, especially young people, are biblically illiterate. Many give up trying to read the Bible at all—confused and intimidated by its length and complexity. In their new book, Storylines: Exploring the Themes of the Bible (David C Cook, March 2010), Mike Pilavachi and Andy Croft address this issue head on by providing readers with the keys to unlocking their understanding.

Intended for beginners, rather than biblical scholars, Storylines explores the six main themes of the Bible—Jesus, Covenant, (Divine) Presence, Kingdom, Salvation, and Worship—and takes an exciting journey into the “big pictures” of Scripture. On the way, readers will also uncover amazing truths about the Person to whom all Scriptures ultimately point.

“We believe the six majors motifs we investigate in Storylines are the strong cords that will bind together readers’ understanding of Scripture, helping them grasp the central ideas before delving into the details,” say authors Pilavachi and Croft, leaders of the U.K.’s biggest Christian youth event, Soul Survivor. “We hope the book we’ve written will make a massive impact on readers’ lives; we know that it has deeply affected ours!”

Storylines is topped and tailed by an overview of Scripture’s content—a concise summary of the Bible in 20 pages!—and a brief history of how the Bible came to be in its present form. In between, each chapter focuses on one “thread” and closes with a “paperchase” that summarizes how that particular theme develops through Scripture. Throughout the book, readers will encounter Old Testament characters and events who anticipate the fullness that came in Christ and is being worked out in the world through the gift of the Holy Spirit to the church.

With a youth-friendly style, Storylines is a handy and much needed resource for pastors and youth leaders concerned about low biblical literacy levels in their churches and groups. Older Christians will also find it lively and refreshing as they, too, trace the threads that run through the Bible. The future sequel to Storylines, Lifelines, will be a journey through big ideas in Scripture—biblical values and life management issues such as generosity, sexual morality, and anxiety—to equip readers for living.

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This review copy was provided courtesy of The B&B Media Group


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