There has been a (welcome) shift in many corners of Evangelicalism in recent years toward story-shaped preaching and teaching. Many pastors and writers have discovered that three alliterative points have more to do with activating short-term memory than engaging spiritual imagination and motivating long-term growth.
Dr. Larry Crabb understands this shift. His rich teaching and counseling ministry have been all about helping people connect deeply with The Story, one that’s bigger than any single individual. To that end, he walked through the sixty-six books of Scripture in his new book, 66 Love Letters: A Conversation With God That Invites You Into His Story (Nelson) – not as an academic or a theologian, but as a “mere Christian, a hungry follower of Jesus who desperately wants to hear whatever God is telling me, a man in misery who only wants one thing, not relief from misery (although that would be nice), but hope – hope of intimacy and meaning and joy forever, in relationship with God.“
His journey through Scripture is a poetic quest to find the core of the message of each book of the Bible. He dialogues with God as He writes, exposing his soul in order to fully engage with what God is saying. Crabb understands that the Bible is meant to BE a dialogue, a living letter to the created, thirsting for recreation world. Here’s a taste from the chapter about 1 Thessalonians:
“So the more frustrated I feel with myself and life, the more thirsty I’ll become for you? And that’s maturity?
“Your frustration with everything else, including yourself, makes it possible to turn in deeper dependence to Me. Your weariness requires the strength of supernatural love to continue serving Me. Your haunting sense of futility shuts you up to a kind of endurance that can be sustained only with hope in My Son’s return.”
This 400-page hardcover makes a wonderful devotional companion for those who know the Bible well, and a joyful jolt of orientation to those new to Scripture.
Note: A copy of this book was provided me by the publisher.