When Jesus Christ is accepted as Lord and Savior that’s only the first step of a life-long journey toward spiritual maturity and a personal “best friend” style relationship with Christ. Yet for some, the journey begins and ends with acceptance and a personal relationship is never nurtured or allowed to develop. So do you believe and can you talk easily about what you believe in and why?
Christianity.com reported “Bible illiteracy is a scandal” based on 2014 surveys that revealed most people couldn’t name every one of the disciples or list all ten commandments and some even thought ” Sodom and Gomorrah were a married couple.” In the March 2016 issue of U.S. News, Alan Neuhauser reported, “Prayer, Belief in God Sinks to All-Time Low in U.S…according to decade’s long surveys” taken from 1972 to 2014.
However, Randy Frazee senior pastor of San Antonio, Texas Oak Hills Church still believes the Bible is “the greatest story ever told.” To encourage Bible reading he condensed The Story Bible into a story format of scriptural truths. That book led to The Story Church Campaign in 2014 and the release of Believe Storybook: Think, Act, Be Like Jesus, Believe Kid’s Edition and Believe Student Edition in 2015. What follows are two positive and one negative review of the three books.
‘Believe Storybook: Think, Act, Be Like Jesus,’ by Randy Frazee w/Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton, Illustrated by Steve Adams, Zonderkidz, 2015, 256 Pages, Ages 3-8, 978-0310745907, $19.99
The glossy-paged, hardcover Believe Storybook equips parents and children, ages 4-8, to explore some of life’s biggest questions together using the reader-friendly NIrV translation. The full-color storybook is divided into three main sections of ten chapters each with 60 theme based stories that highlight the “belief, practices and core virtues” of Christian life.
Stories are not in chronological order but are based on “think, act and be” themes with key scriptures that support story themes. Storylines include a starting question, an Old and New Testament story and a “Jump to Jesus” segment about Christ that answers thought-provoking questions of “what I believe, what should I do and who am I becoming?” Three more questions at story’s end encourage discussion and teach children how to “think, act and be more like Jesus.” Steve Adams captivating images complement the text with engaging and colorful illustrations.
This well-written book of Bible stories is filled with scriptural truths that teach readers how to have a more personal relationship with Jesus. The “Bible Storybook would be especially good for a new believer, however I also think the book would be an excellent choice for any Christian who desires to “lead a more Christ-like life through [a better] understanding of Scripture.”
‘Believe Kids’ Edition, Paperback: Think, Act, Be Like Jesus,’ General Editor Randy Frazee, Zonderkidz, 2015, 224 Pages, Ages 8 and Up, 978-0310746010, $11.99
The Kids’ edition of Believe uses the same format as the “Believe Storybook” except the “Believe Kids’ Edition” is designed for ages 9-12 and features the actual words from the Bible’s New International Reader’s Version (NirV).
The reader-friendly stories begin with key questions, ideas and Scripture with a “Think about it” segment that identifies, summarizes and explores what that particular belief is and why it’s important. Because “what you believe in your heart…sets the course for who you become,” which begins with how you think about Jesus.
While I think children will like the simple blue and white story illustrations, such as Jonah in the belly of the whale, Daniel’s interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and Daniel in the lion’s den. I would have preferred scripture references, chapter and verse, listed with the readings instead of at the back of the book under “List of Bible Excerpts.” However, Bible reading with a parent far outweighs that minor criticism when children develop the habit of reading the Bible at a young age.
‘Believe Student Edition: Living the Story of the Bible to Become Like Jesus,’ General Editor, Randy Frazee, Zondervan, 2015, 352 Pages, 978-0310745617, $16.99
The Student’s edition of Believe follows the same format as the “Believe Storybook” and kids edition except the target audience is older teens and young adults. The student edition uses the New NIV 2011 translation of “gender-neutrality” that to me supports the current, often confusing social agenda of our times caused by political correctness. I would have preferred the 1984 NIV translation without the “gender-neutrality” bias.
For that reason I wouldn’t use the student’s edition of “Believe,” but would instead adopt the “Believe” stories and format and use them with another Bible translation, such as the NIrV or another reader-friendly version.
I really like the concept and format behind these much needed and beautifully illustrated books. The biblical blueprint they provide is important with their teaching that “the words of God can change you as you learn to think, act, and become more like Jesus.” However, I can only recommend “Believe Storybook” and “Believe Kid’s edition, which are exceptional.
Midwest Book Reviews: “Gail’s Bookshelf” April 2016
FaceBook: Gail Welborn
Believe: Week 1 – God
Today’s message is the first in a series based on the Believe material by Pastor Randy Frazee. You can learn more at http://www.believethestory.com/
Do you believe the God of the Bible is the only true God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
‘Believe Storybook: Think, Act, Be Like Jesus,’ by Randy Frazee w/Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton, Illustrated by Steve Adams
Presented by bestselling author and pastor Randy Frazee, the Believe Storybook shows children how they can think, act, and be more like Jesus. With 60 old and new testament stories from the Bible that showcase the themes, combined with captivating and dramatic illustrations by Steve Adams, children and adults alike will be inspired to become more like their savior and the person they were meant to be.
The Believe Storybook is part of the national church-wide program led by bestselling author Randy Frazee that shows children how they can think, act, and be more like Jesus.
‘Believe Kids’ Edition, Paperback: Think, Act, Be Like Jesus,’ General Editor, Randy Frazee
You know the story of the Bible, but do you know what it means? This kids’ edition of Believe teaches you the core beliefs, practices, and virtues of Jesus-followers so that you can understand how to live out God’s story in your own life today.
As you walk through the three big categories—beliefs, practices, and virtues—you’ll begin a journey that will take you closer to the heart of Jesus and deeper into the words of Scripture. You’ll learn what the Bible has to say about everything from the nature of God and the identity of Jesus, to prayer, worship, and the fruit of the Spirit. Each big category is divided into ten topics to give you an up-close look at the important things God wants you to know.
From bestselling author and pastor, Randy Frazee, the Believe: Kids’ Edition will take you on a step-by-step tour through the Bible and show you how to think, act, and be more like Jesus.
‘Believe Student Edition: Living the Story of the Bible to Become Like Jesus,’ General Editor, Randy Frazee
It’s one thing to know the story of the Bible. It’s another thing to live it. The Believe: Student Edition teaches you the core beliefs, practices, and virtues of Jesus-followers so that you can understand how to live out God’s story in your own life today.
As you walk through the three big categories of Christian life—beliefs, practices, and virtues—you’ll begin a journey that will take you closer to the heart of Jesus and deeper into the words of Scripture. You’ll learn what the Bible has to say about everything from the nature of God and the identity of Jesus, to prayer, worship, and the fruit of the Spirit. Each big category is divided into ten topics to give you an up-close look at the important things God wants you to know. Relevant, practical, and deeply fundamental, Believe: Student Edition is a must-read for any student serious about their faith.
The Bible is more than just a book of stories. It’s a blueprint for living. Let the words of God change you as you learn how to think, act, and become more like Jesus.
‘Think, Act, Be Like Jesus: Becoming a New Person in Christ,’ by Randy Frazee w/ Robert Noland
The Bible teaches that the goal of the Christian life is to become like Jesus―for our own personal growth and for the sake of others. Every believer needs to ask three big questions: What do I believe? What should I do? And who am I becoming?
In Think, Act, Be Like Jesus, bestselling author and pastor Randy Frazee helps readers grasp the vision of the Christian life and get started on the journey of discipleship. After unfolding the revolutionary dream of Jesus and showing how our lives fit into the big picture of what God is doing in the world, Frazee walks readers through thirty short chapters exploring the ten core beliefs, ten core practices, and ten core virtues that help disciples to think, act, and be more like Jesus Christ.
This compelling new book can be used in conjunction with the 30-week all-church Believe campaign or read separately as an individual study. Either way, readers will deepen their understanding of what it means to not just know the Story of God, but to live it.
‘Believe [Adult] Study Guide: Living the Story of the Bible to Become Like Jesus,’ by Randy Frazee, w/ Randy Larson
The Believe Adult Study Guide gives groups of all sizes the opportunity to learn, discuss, and apply what they experience in this 30-session journey through the Bible by exploring 30 essential beliefs, practices, and virtues that every Christian needs to know and live.
Pastor and author Randy Frazee presents 30 ten-minute teachings on how the story of Scripture helps us think, act, and be like Jesus. You will explore a key question, Scripture, concept and application in each session that helps you understand the 30 essential beliefs, practices and virtues that will help us become fully devoted followers of Jesus.
This study guide will guide group members through video discussion for all 30 sessions as well as help individuals grow through in-between-sessions assignments.