Book review: What the Bible Really Tells Us

by T. J. Wray


Wray starts her book with a five-question quiz, which any faithful Bible reader should pass with ease, but the vast majority cannot. It’s the same quiz she uses to open each new course at Salve Regina University, where she teaches as an Associate Professor of Religious Studies. When she next recommends that I go purchase a Bible and read her book with the Bible open in front of me, I felt a nostalgic flashback to my University days. :)

After the pop quiz opening, I expected the book to be a Bible Introduction course, and I worried that perhaps it wouldn’t hold my interest. I was wrong. It’s true, Wray writes down to the level of readers who know little or nothing about the Bible, but her writing is insightful and fun. Wray “seeks to address the real and urgent problem of contemporary biblical illiteracy,” not by teaching us everything that’s in the Bible, but by stimulating a curiosity about it, so that we’ll read it for ourselves.

So this book is not a Bible overview. It is instead, after a short Bible Basics lead-in, an insightful discussion of seven critical issues that we should all find vital to our philosophy of life and spiritual well-being. Precisely the sort of instruction we expect to find by turning to our Bibles—yet most of us hold an erroneous assumption about what the Bible really says. These seven topics are:

[1] Why do we suffer?
[2] Heaven and hell
[3] What the Bible says about wealth and riches
[4] Sexuality and gender
[5] Biblical law and justice
[6] The Bible and the environment

[7] Prayer and worship

All seven proved to be great reading! Made me want to sign up for her class.

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