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Book Review: The Bible - A Story That Makes Sense of Life by Andrew Ollerton

Book Review: The Bible - A Story That Makes Sense of Life by Andrew Ollerton

Book Review: The Bible - A Story That Makes Sense of Life by Andrew Ollerton

3 August 2021

Andrew Ollerton explores how the Bible is relevant in our own story and invites us to engage with the ancient text.

Reviewed by Phil Inglis

Along the top of the front cover of Andrew Ollerton’s The Bible: A Story That Makes Sense of Life is an endorsement from Tom Holland, one of my favourite historians.

Holland describes Ollerton’s book as “a stimulating and accessible survey of history’s most influential book”. On the strength of Holland’s recommendation, I dived in excitedly. My mistake, however, was in expecting Ollerton to write a gripping saga like the best-sellers produced by Holland. Ollerton’s book is not a textbook. It is not a history book. It is not a commentary. The best way I can describe The Bible: A Story that Makes Sense of Life is as a collection of biblical reflections.

Ollerton introduces and explains major sections of the Bible, giving a basic amount of background and context information. Following this, he draws out the significance of text in our own story. Once I had adjusted my expectations and understood that Ollerton doesn’t set out to write a history book, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

For any follower of Jesus, this book contains a wealth of information. Helpfully, Ollerton has organised his book into six parts, each part with seven chapters. Each chapter can be read in approximately 15 minutes, giving the reader enough food for thought to get them through a day.

For someone looking to engage (or re-engage) with the ancient writings in the Bible, there is no better way than to begin by spending 20 minutes a day for 42 days, reading and reflecting on the words contained in each chapter of this book.

The Bible: A Story That Makes Sense for Life is available online and at Koorong.

MAJOR PHIL INGLIS IS CORPS OFFICER OF WOLLONGONG CORPS (NEW SOUTH WALES)

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