Monday, December 9, 2013

A Tale of Two Kingdoms/God's Unfolding Story of Salvation -- Mosaic Reviews

Tale of Two Kingdoms
Heather A. Kendall
Guardian Books
ISBN 155452003-7
Recommended age: teens and adults

As a member of the Mosaic Reviews team I've had the pleasure of reading about the history found in the Holy Scriptures regarding the story of the Kingdom of Christ and the Kingdom of Satan in A Tale of Two Kingdoms.  

The author, Heather A. Kendall, is a Sunday School teacher and ladies' Bible study leader, presents the story in two parts:

Part 1: Waiting for the Promised Seed
This part of the story tells about the beginning of the war between God and Satan, the development of Satan's kingdom, the founding fathers of the faith, the establishment of Israel as a nation, King David, the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the Southern Kingdom of Judah, the fall of Judah, the captivity, a second chance for Israel, and the silent years.

Part 2: Responding to the Promised Seed
This part of the history presented tells of the birth of the promised seed, the ministry of Jesus, the early church, letters to the churches, and the apostolic fathers.  An Appendix, a Timeline of Key People and Events, Endnotes, a Bibliography, an Index and a number of Maps are also included for reference.

Part 1 explains about God's plan for creation, Satan's sin and fall from the angelic realm, Adam and Eve being sent from Paradise due to their sin, Enoch walking with God and speaking out against wickedness, Noah's righteousness and the great flood which wiped out most of the people and animals on the earth, idolatry, the Tower of Babel, and pagan sacrifices while emphasizing the consequences of sin and rebellion as well as the need for dependence on God.

This section then moves on to tell stories of the founding fathers of faith such as Abram who covenanted with God, Isaac, Moses, Jacob and King David.  Solomon, Ahab, Elijah, Jonah and the Prophets follow as well as references to the Psalms, the necessity of repentance, the forgiveness of God and the birth of the Messiah who would be the way to even out man's sins and rebellion. Heather tells about the faithfulness, grace and mercy of God while explaining that we all make choices, many of which go against God's plans.

Part 2 starts with the story of Mary and Joseph and talks about obedience to God.  Heather speaks of the birth of Jesus and the spiritual salvation available to all people through his life and death.  She tells about the ministry of Jesus and God's plan of salvation through the life, death, and the resurrection of Jesus.  Along the way in the story she shares about John the Baptist, Satan's temptation of Jesus, the necessity of spiritual birth, the Holy Spirit, heart attitudes, the Sermon on the Mount and God's invitation for people to trust him, listen, and believe to receive the promise of entrance into heaven.  Heather shares Jesus' description of the nature of God's kingdom and tells of Christ's Second Coming.

God's Unfolding Story of Salvation
The Christ-Centered Biblical Storyline
Heather A. Kendall
Resource Publications
Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN 978-1-62032046-4

In addition to A Tale of Two Kingdoms I also received a companion book titled God's Unfolding Story of Salvation, a Bible study, which teaches believers that the Old Testament points to the coming birth of Christ and how sinful people may find redemption through this death.  The Bible study covers preparing for the birth of Christ, the prophets waiting for Christ's birth, Jesus the Promised Seed, and the church proclaiming the Promised Seed.  The study consists of 38 lessons separated into four parts.  A Timeline and Bibliography are also included.

A Tale of Two Kingdoms is a good condensed summary of many significant parts of scripture with some added insight/interpretation by the author.  I did like the short chapters with Points to Ponder (key points) placed at the end.  For a quick once over of the entire Bible and its concepts this could be a good book.  While I didn't dislike the book, it was hard for me to get into and keep going.   It is written well and is easy to follow.  I would recommend this book to someone who hasn't read much scripture to capture the big picture, but I would also mention that there is a need to keep in mind the author's interpretation may differ from their own.  I respect the author for the time, effort, and ideas she has shared with her readers.  Describing Genesis to Revelation in a relatively short book is no small task!  As for God's Unfolding Story of Salvation, the companion Bible study, I would be comfortable using these books separately or together, both individually and in a group. Both books could certainly stand on their own but do complement each other.  While recommended for teens, I personally think they are a better fit for a bit older teens with the maturity to dig in deeper.  Heather poses a lot of thoughtful questions in her study.  

For more about Heather and her books visit the website.  You'll also find a free peek at A Tale of Two Kingdoms and a book trailer of God's Unfolding Story of Salvation.  Click here to order these books.  Click for some of Heather's favorite links.  Don't forget to stop by her blog too!

If you're interested in checking out what others team members thought of the books click here.

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