I loved this book and I’m far from young adulthood. I think the youth in my ward would greatly benefit from it as well and they could enjoy it if they let themselves.
There was a time when me and the scriptures? We were super tight. I studied them morning and night, and even during the long bus rides up to the local university. Now, after marriage, four kids, and some pretty nasty health struggles, reading my scriptures has become a little too rote, a little too obligatory. I glance at my bible every now again and give it the uncomfortable nod of acknowledgment that passes between former friends. It's seriously awkward sometimes.
Cue Dennis Gaunt's, "Bad Guys of the Bible." Want to fall in love with the bible? This book is the literary equivalent of the best dating service EVER. The touches of humor, the staggering insights, and the gift of clarity it provides have reignited my desire to study on a deeper level. As my seminary teacher once put it, to scuba dive instead of snorkel through the deep waters of the gospel.
I don't have much of an attention span these days. I used to be able to study academic tomes for hours on end. Now, I'm asleep within minutes if I even try. But "Bad Guys of the Bible" kept me not only awake, but engaged. If you're looking for a compelling book that will deepen your understanding of the gospel AND entertain you at the same time, you need this book in your life.
This book is TRULY AMAZING!
Dennis brings out SO MANY INSIGHTS I haven't even thought about.
Learn about Satan and his tactics in the chapter titled "Outsmarting the Serpent"
Read about "Public Enemy #1: Cain"
Understand why Nimrod wanted to build the "Dee-luxe Apartment in the Sky"
Look at some of the other AWESOME titles and who they are about:
* Sodom and Gommorrah, 90210 ~ Lot
* Clash of the Titans: Pharoah and the Magicians of Egypt
* More Whiners in the Wilderness ~ Lessons from the Exodus
* This...Is American Idolatry ~ The Priests of Baal, Demetrius, Annas, Caiaphas
* The Bad Guys' Guide to Love and Dating ~ Mrs. Potiphar, Amnon, Samson and Delilah
* Liars and Tyrants and Bullies, Oh My! ~ Goliath, Rab-shakeh, Sanballat
* And MORE
YOU WILL LOVE DENNIS' EASY AND FUN WAY OF TELLING ABOUT THE BAD GUYS IN THE SCRIPTURES!
DO NOT FEAR THE BAD GUYS ~ LEARN FROM THEM!
THIS BOOK REALLY IS WORTH STUDYING!
I ABSOLUTELY RECOMMEND IT!
Dennis is the man. Not only does he make the Bible interesting, he makes it understandable. I found myself looking forward to each chapter to see what bad guy (or guys) was next. I enjoyed the care and detail of each chapter. The personal stories mixed with council from church leaders, past and present, along with insightful scriptures, were what made this book even better. I took notes throughout and took pictures of the pages so I am able to look back and appreciate what I read. Dennis added his awesome humor and lots of familiar quotes for chapter headings. I think this helped make it for relatable for his readers. As I was reading, I could hear Dennis saying the funny lines. A personal fav was "tree house of wickedness".
As with Bad Guys of the Book of Mormon, Dennis adds a lessons learned and not learned at the end of each chapter, to summarize and ask questions to the reader. It added his own personal touch and humor to each chapter and a great review of what was discussed. Honestly, the Bible, to me, is intimating and confusing at times. I was able to understand and appreciate the Bible even more and was reminded of stories I hadn't heard in awhile. As with his first book, this one also teaches us to be ever mindful of the ultimate bad guy, the one who wants us all to fail, Satan.
I probably had about 20+ quotes that I would love to share, but the very last paragraph, ended with the author's testimony.
I add my own testimony that God has big plans for you and your life. When we choose to stand on the Lord's side, we will discover "they that be with us are more than they that be with them" (2 Kings 6:16). May each of us choose now to be one of the Lord's good guys, to make whatever changes are needed, and to be true and valiant to Him every day of our lives. (page 235)
5 out of 5 stars. Another solid book from Dennis.
I loved Dennis's first book, Bad Guys of the Book of Mormon. When I knew he was writing Bad Guys of the Bible, I couldn't wait to start reading this new book.
The book jumps right in starting with the beginning of the Bible and the original bad guy, Satan and those he tempted, Adam and Eve, Moses and Jesus Christ. I like what Dennis had to say about why he started with him, "It's essential that we learn to spot his tricks and traps early so we can avoid them."
One of the things that I love about the way Dennis writes, is the humor he infuses throughout such serious subjects. He knows how to keep the old Bible stories refreshing and relevant to today's people, so teens and adults can relate to them. There is also plenty of quoted scriptures which I so appreciate him including. I was able to highlight many things as I read each chapter. I kept thinking of how I will be using each chapter as a Family Home Evening lesson with my family. Thanks for that Dennis! I have 16 lessons ready to go! ;)
I was so excited to see in Bad Guys of the Bible that Dennis had included one of my favorite things from his first book. At the end of each chapter you'll find...
-Lessons NOT Learned and-Lessons TO Learn.
Let me give you an example from one of my favorite chapters, Chapter 7: More Whiners in the Wilderness=Lessons from the Exodus.
**Lessons NOT Learned:
Random Israelite #1: "Hey, is it just me, or is this wilderness kind of rough?"
Random Israelite #2: "Now that you mention it, it is sort of unpleasant out here!"
Random Israelite #3: "Guys? I have sand in my shoe."
Random Israelite #1: "Oh that's it! Where's Moses? I want to go back to Egypt!"
**Lessons TO Learn:
Why does life feel like a harsh wilderness sometimes?Why do we have so many trials to deal with? How can we resist the temptation to murmur and complain when times are hard?
What made the difference between people like Moses, Joshua, or Caleb and those who wanted to go back every time something was wrong? What can you do to change and control your own attitude when you feel like giving up?
Make a list of the different ways you can gather spiritual manna every single day. For each item on the list, ask yourself: How can I avoid becoming ungrateful for this? What can I do so that I don't become bored with the things Heavenly Father has asked me to do every day?
See what I mean? Your Family Home Evening lesson is right there! I don't think Dennis wrote this book for that purpose, but it is a perfect teaching tool. You can also see what a great wit this author has in his writing and in real life. The author also concludes the book with this thought..."The study of the bad guys of the Bible is the study of ourselves. By looking at the the things they did wrong, we can learn to do things right. We can outsmart Satan and all of his followers by being smarter than the bad guys. We did it once before, and we can do it again.No one is doomed to fail in this life; no one is destined to be miserable. Every person in this world has the opportunity to choose to follow Christ and be happy."
This well researched and wonderfully written book must be in every Christian home that reads the Bible. This book deserves the
5 ***** rating that I'm happily giving it!