Tuesday, January 31, 2012

3:16: The Numbers of Hope

Max Lucado and his editing team have done an excellent job of transferring some of his best-loved books into teen editions. 3:16: The Numbers of Hope is no exception. Each chapter explains one word or phrase from the verse, "For God so loved the world, He gave his one and only Son, so whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

Lucado gives a welcome refresher to teens who have grown up reciting the verse, but he also shares wisdom and insight relevant to new Christians, or those who are searching for answers. Lucado emphasizes the grace of God, and makes sure readers understand our role is to accept salvation as a free gift--not to earn salvation.

Each chapter also includes notes from Becca and Justin, teens who write about real-life questions, ideas and problems. The end of each chapter has discussion questions, as well as space to journal answers.

What I Like: I always like Lucado's voice. His words sound like a cross between a caring father and a wise, older friend. His books clearly communicate his love for Jesus and his love for readers.

I love the idea of this book, in particular. If you have grown up in the church, John 3:16 probably seems ordinary and mundane. However, studying each individual word in depth is such a rewarding experience. John 3:16 is the foundation of our faith, and it is good to remember why it is so important.

What I Dislike: Becca and Justin are composite characters, but I think I would have liked to read real letters from many different teens, instead. Although I related to each of them at times, I'm not sure how authentic they sound.

Also, Lucado's chapters are long (between ten and fourteen pages each), with no clear breaks. They are excellent, but a bit time-consuming to read. I am afraid teens who are just starting the habit of quiet times or who are used to absorbing information in small, sound-bite-size chunks, may get discouraged before the end of a chapter.

Overall Rating: Very Good

Age Appeal: 12 and up

Publisher Info: Thomas Nelson, 2007; ISBN: 978-1-4003-1108-8; Paperback, 160 pages, $12.99

Buy it Now at Christianbook.com for $9.99

OR Buy it at Amazon.com for $11.04.

Special Info: Read CCBR reviews of other books by Max Lucado here.

No comments: