by The Rev. Dr. David Robson
Nick Page - God's Dangerous Book
Without question, the Bible is the most studied book collection throughout history. The Bible is studied for its inspiration and insights. The Bible is studied for its content and context. The Bible is studied in every generation. The Bible is timeless. The books of the Bible provide us with a wealth of stories, poems, history and the life of Jesus and countless others. We read of healthy and unhealthy relationships. We read of people struggling to find God. We read of God reaching out to those struggling with faith and life.
It is the most studied book in history but, it may among the least read. Thomas Paine in the 18th century said, “The Bible is a book that has been read more and examined less than any book that ever existed.” This is still true. Every year it is the world’s bestselling book. But, it may move from a store shelf to a bookshelf where it is never touched. Why is it bought and then avoided? Perhaps people find the task of reading, exploring and listening to scripture too daunting. Sometimes people begin with great passion but in time find it a struggle to continue exploring the countless intricacies of scripture too much.
For three decades I searched for sources that would provide a great commentary on the scriptures. I discovered collections that explored the books in detail. Naturally, the average person would not phantom studying these collections. Likewise, I searched for a single volume that explored the scriptures without being academically aimed at scholars. Sadly, I found many highly academic books. I did not want a volume that was simple or childlike. Yet, I found many books that were directive and intentional what one was to read and believe. I found many books, in my view, reduced the depth and beauty the scripture to bullet points or pithy sayings. In my search, I held the image that, “scripture should be clear enough for the simplest person to live by. . . and deep enough to form an inexhaustible mine for readers.”
Nick Page, an English author of many books answered my search!
In “God’s Dangerous Book,” Page provided me, and I hope many others, with a clear one volume exploration of the scriptures.
It is delightful that he adds the occasional dry, droll, and wry humor to this wonderful exploration of the development of the Bible. It is a rare gift to look at the long and complex development and use of scriptures and present in a readable language that does not overwhelm! Page is a treat to read. From my experience, some authors approach scripture as being so sacred that they make it seem untouchable. I am pleased to say that Nick Page offers us the reverse. He makes ones’ study so approached that one cannot but find scriptures sacred, and holy. Likewise, instead of a traditional top-down, let-me-tell-you author, Page with his down-to-earth approach quietly draws one into reading and appreciating how the Bible came to be, and how it was used throughout history! In other words, it is a delightful simple and inexhaustible mine of information and inspiration.