Saturday, October 6, 2007

FIRE BIBLE: Student Edition (FBSE)

Book Review

FIRE BIBLE: Student Edition (FBSE)

Donald Stamps, Editor (LIFE Publishers, Int., 2294 pp., leather)

A well-known pop singer once wondered, “What have you done for me lately?” It is frequently assumed that this generation of young people is asking the same thing. Now LIFE Publishers has a great answer – the first and largest comprehensive study Bible written for students. The FIRE BIBLE: Student Edition (FBSE) helps students delve deeply into the foundations of their faith as it provides a Pentecostal perspective contained throughout the study notes and articles.

The FBSE has been prepared by the same editor that compiled the Full Life Study Bible, which highlights the fact that it is not a lightweight student edition Bible. Not only does it include the expected study Bible features, such as 20 major themes tracked throughout Scripture, background and introduction for each book, a simple yet comprehensive cross-reference system, a strong Pentecostal perspective, and seriously thorough study notes, it also includes a special section aimed at students who are committed to standing out as campus missionaries.

Pray/Live/Serve/Tell/Give are the five core commitments of campus missions, and the FBSE not only gives detailed explanations of each in the reference section, it tracks each theme throughout the Bible, giving the student a strong Biblical foundation from which to work.

Any student, and especially any student committed to affecting their campus for Christ, will find the handsome leather-bound FBSE to be a valuable resource as he or she helps present God’s answer to the question, “What have you done for me lately?”

The Gospel According to Starbucks: Living with a Grande Passion

Book Review

The Gospel According to Starbucks: Living with a Grande Passion

Leonard Sweet (Waterbrook Press, 210 pp., paperback)

What makes people stand in line and pay a premium for a cup of Starbucks coffee? What does Starbucks know that the church doesn’t?

Leonard Sweet is a self-proclaimed Starbucks junkie who sees beyond the $4 price tag on a cup of java to a cultural phenomenon that helps explain the postmodern shift in today’s culture. He uses Starbucks as a springboard to explain a concept he has famously coined as EPIC – Experiential, Participatory, Image-rich and Connective. With each letter of EPIC, Dr. Sweet explains how Starbucks uses that principle in one chapter, then moves on to expand on how the church could use that principle in the next chapter. What emerges is Sweet stuff, if I might say so.

The basic premise of the book is that the church can minister in the world we’ve got, or it can minister in the world we wish we had (or the one we remember having years ago). People today are not longing for intellectual arguments or top-down declarations. What they are longing for is connective (relational) engagement in a meaningful experience. Dr. Sweet illustrates the way Starbucks has captured this desire and built an empire upon it, but he also uses that analogy to illuminate the path to effective ministry in today’s world.

The Gospel According to Starbucks: Living with Grande Passion is a fun and handsome paperback that gives a crash-course in postmodern, EPIC ministry for today’s world.