Many Christians feel guilty when they think of reading the Bible. Though they want to love reading Scripture, they rarely have time for more than a few verses on the run. But the Bible is not meant to be a burden. It is the story of God's passionate love for His children. It is also not a book of mystical incantations. It is a best friend offering counsel and companionship. And it is not a distant relic, but something very near. Near enough, in fact, to be every reader's story. So how do Christians delight in this story rather than see it as a source of failure? The founder of the immensely popular Daily Audio Bible, Brian Hardin shows readers how reading through the Bible in a year will change their life and the lives of others. Passages shows readers how to read the Bible and offers practical ideas for immersing themselves in God's life-giving words. Here readers will discover that reading the Bible can be a breathtaking adventure.
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Customer Reviews for Passages: How Reading the Bible in a Year Will Change Everything for You
Review 1 for Passages: How Reading the Bible in a Year Will Change Everything for You
Every bibliophile has a list. You know, the “special list” containing the prized books that touch our hearts or speak to our soul in such a profound way as to deem them worthy of the ‘top shelf’ of the bookcase. They become our ‘reference’, ‘go-to’, or ‘feel good’ reads for a rainy day as they have earned the right to be experienced over and over again, each time providing new insights and nuggets of goodness.
To my list I will now add Passages by Brian Hardin. Here are my reasons why.
Brian Hardin “gets it.” And by “gets it,” I mean he understands that most people are sick of hearing clichés, tired of ineffective “secrets to a better life” hype permeating pop-culture, and frustrated by the sanitized masks worn by many Christians who paint a picture that all is well when in reality, life is spinning out of control. You won’t find any of that in the pages of Passages. What you will find, refreshingly, is an honest account of a life full of plans that derailed, one by one. Mr. Hardin is eloquent and forthright in retelling his tumble to rock bottom. Equally poetic and compelling is the gradual process through which through which Hardin’s life is transformed. The author continually points to the Bible as the source of hope that produced drastic, positive changes in his life.
One of my all-time favorite books on exploring the dynamics of community is “Life Together” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I feel Passages just may qualify as the modern version of “Life Together.” I understand I may have just ruffled a few feathers. Settle down. I stand by my opinion. Page after page of Passages is filled with nuggets of truth, wisdom, and practical advice. In so honestly sharing the path of growth as a result of reading the Bible every day, Hardin challenges the reader to analyze the hundreds of messages bombarding us on a daily basis. Hardin walks the reader through the many personal and communal benefits received from reading the Bible systematically and in context. This experience changed Hardin’s life, leading him to a deeper connection with others in the process. As a result of reading the Bible each day, Hardin found a meaningful sense of purpose, gained a healthy perspective and outlook on life, learned how to develop deeper relationships with others, and discovered the tools for making wise decisions in all areas of life. Hardin’s promise: the same result and fulfillment is available to you.
I appreciate Hardin’s emphasis on reading the Bible in context and practicing the discipline of lectio divina. We are a nation of consumers, no doubt. The “shop around” mentality has, according to Hardin, impacted the way many approach the Bible, seeking less to read the Bible with the intention of understanding the context (and larger framework), as receiving a quick-fix by popping around the pages with little guided direction. Hardin also draws connection to the ways in which a hurried, over-committed lifestyles negatively impact efforts to read the Bible thoughtfully, giving full consideration and attention to the text. The practice of lectio divina is one way to remain focused while reading the Bible and allowing the text to speak into our lives in a reflective way.
Whether young, old, or middle-aged, Passages has something meaningful to offer. If you are curious about the Bible, pick up a copy of Passages. If you feel that life is not what you planned and are in need of a change, pick up a copy of Passages. If you are simply looking for a well written book to add to your “to-read” list, pick up a copy of Passages. You will be changed for the better having read about Hardin’s journey.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 2 for Passages: How Reading the Bible in a Year Will Change Everything for You
I read Passages in two days. As soon as I read the description, I was hooked. I can't tell you what an incredible book this is. I have read many books on this subject, but Passages is in a league by itself.
Brian Hardin begins by explaining how he came to read the bible everyday. He gives his testimony in Chapter One entitled "The Olive Couch". Chapter Two talks about the reasons why we don't read our bible. This was one of my favorite chapters.
Our number one excuse for not reading our bible is lack of time..
"Time is always an enemy. Reading Scripture is always on our perpetual to-do list; but as the day goes by, it ends up at the bottom of the list, and by the time we fall into bed, we're just too exhausted to read anything that requires serious thought." (Page 32)
Can you relate? I know I can because I struggle with this myself. The other is understandability which Brian Hardin discusses as well.
"The Bible is written as a story, a story that has not yet reached its conclusion. The story has wound its way through battlefields and wedding nights, through birthing chambers and funeral parlors, from transcendent pleasure to utter hopelessness. This is the unstoppable story of God and his profound love for humanity." (Page 35)
Chapter Six was extremely interesting for me. The chapter discusses "Lectio Divina: Divine Reading".
"Lectio divina is an unhurried, contemplative reading of a portion of Scripture. The practice of lectio divina includes four steps: Lectio, read; Meditatio, meditate; Oratio, speak or pray; and Contemplatio, contemplate or rest." (Page 103, 105)
Brian Hardin also writes that reading the Word of God out loud has remarkable power and authority. I admit, I never read the Bible out loud to myself. However, after reading this book, I will now apply this new practice to my daily bible reading.
Brian Hardin has a unique, creative and eloquent writing style. Passages inspired me so much. I am now listening to his daily podcasts and also joined Daily Audio Bible online community.
If you struggle with reading the Bible, I highly recommend this book. Passages is full of wisdom and inspiration. I especially loved reading people's testimonies throughout the book.
In conclusion, I want to thank Brian Hardin for writing this book. I also want to thank Litfuse Publicity and Zondervan Publishers for sending me a complimentary copy of this book to read and review.
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Review 3 for Passages: How Reading the Bible in a Year Will Change Everything for You
Son of a minister, Brian was determined not to go into the ministry. He got involved in the recording industry but the company he was with went bankrupt. He became aware of the emerging podcast technology and God called him to podcast the Bible, and the Daily Audio Bible was born. Brian thought the podcast would be a temporary project but saw it grow into a community. He realized he was entering the ministry and that he was passionate about it. Brian is very passionate about reading the Bible. He found it “reveals who you really are and illumines a path that you are created to walk.” (29) When he had completed his first full reading through the Bible, he realized he had been transformed. He presents this challenge: “If you will commit yourself to spending every day in the Bible for one month, you will notice something shifting inside. If you'll do it for three months, you'll feel as if major places in your heart are coming back to life. It you'll stick to it for a year,you will have been transformed from the inside out.” (27) Brian is convinced that if you read the Bible every day, everything will change (although it may not be the way you'd think).
Brian investigates why we don't read the Bible and counters with the benefits and blessings when we do. He shares how the Bible was meant to be read (story, context, etc.) and experienced (imagining ourselves in God's story). He gives many examples of how reading the Bible has changed others. He reviews many ways of interacting with the Word such as lectio divina and listening to the spoken word. He has included several Bible reading plans at the end of the book.
Brian makes some big claims for his project. “It's become one of the greatest ecumenical movements of our time.” (80) “At the Daily Audio Bible, no matter where you may physically be on this planet, you don't ever have to be alone again.” (90) As an older person, I would not agree that an individual connecting to others via digital media actually changes being alone.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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Review 4 for Passages: How Reading the Bible in a Year Will Change Everything for You
This was a book that I debated signing up for because I wasn't for sure what the contents held. I expected it to be one of those that talked about how we should read our Bible, how good it is to do so, and what a difference it can make. You know, pretty much like many of the other books on Bible reading can sound like. I was very glad that that's not exactly what this book talked about.
Brian shares with his readers that yes, we are to read the Bible, but it's supposed to be a passion. With Christianity today being so much of "let's take this verse and make it mean this," Brian spends a whole chapter talking about "How the Bible is Meant to Be Read." It's supposed to be read in context. It's not about us, but about God.
I really enjoyed how he talked about "Living the Bible in Community." It is so vital that we read our Bibles together with others, not just inside of church. It also needs to be read and lived in our families, as he spends an entire chapter talking about that as well.
Overall, I think this is a book that I definitely want to recommend, especially to those who are new to learning about Jesus, but also to those that don't really get why the Bible should mean much to Christians. I think Brian does a good job breaking down the main components of where the breakdowns are happening with Christianity today. _________________
I received this book free from Zondervan through Litfuse Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.
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Review 5 for Passages: How Reading the Bible in a Year Will Change Everything for You
Challenging and Encouraging
Date:July 9, 2012
To be honest, when I first picked up Brian Hardin's Passages, I wasn't expecting that much from it. I assumed it would be just one of the abundance of Christian non-fiction that maybe leaves me with something to ponder, but doesn't really leave much of a mark on my life. However, I soon realized that Passages would be something entirely different.
Brian Hardin asks the relevant, if maybe too close to home question: why don't Christians really read the Bible? Not just a verse or two here and there, but rather taking the time to pour over chapters for what they really are - God's love letter to His creation. Hardin says "How could something so important seem to mean so little? The ironies compound themselves because we want to have a better relationship with God, we believe the Bible is the truth, and we believe it contains answers for our lives, yet reading the Bible is the one thing we continue to ignore." As I read this, I knew he undeniably right. Our modern, Western Christian culture is leaving out one of the very most vital parts of our relationship with God. Yet do we even realize it?
Hardin, who started the Daily Audio Bible podcasts, believes strongly in the power of the spoken word of God. He encourages us, not only to redefine our daily Bible reading, but to read it out loud and with other Christians. He also makes the point that while most Christians would say they believe that the Word of God is alive, our actions speak differently. He suggests that we view the Bible as a best friend, a companion and our guide.
Brian Hardin has a remarkable gift for walking right up to you, exactly where you are. There's no condescension or superfluous airs, just simply the invitation to join him as he seeks to truly know God through His Word.
I highly recommend this book to all Believers.
Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book through a publicity agency. However I was not required to write a positive review, the thoughts above are entirely my own.
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Review 6 for Passages: How Reading the Bible in a Year Will Change Everything for You
Brian Hardin in his new book “Passages” published by Zondervan shows us How Reading the Bible in a Year Will Change Everything for You.
From the back cover: How a few minutes a day will change your whole life.
Many of us would love to read the Bible more often, but we rarely make time for more than a few verses on the run.
But the Bible was never meant to be read in short segments here and there when you can fit it in. The Bible was meant to be experienced in sizeable chunks–in Passages–and read daily. It is not a book of mystical incantations, but the story of God’s passionate love–for you. It is not a distant relic, but a best friend offering counsel and companionship–for today.
Through his own remarkable story, Brian Hardin shows you how reading through the Bible in a year changed his life and how it will change yours too. Passages goes beyond exploring how the Bible was meant to be read, providing three distinct Bible reading plans to help you get started right away.
Hardin, whose daily podcast has more than a million listeners a month, guarantees you a life revolution, if you will only commit to a few minutes a day to read through the Bible in a year.
As you rediscover the joy of reading the Bible, visit dailyaudiobible and join a community of fellow readers to share your thoughts on your new adventure.
Oh no, not another book on why we should be reading the Bible. Don’t we already know that we should be reading it and we don’t need another book that will make us feel guilty because we are not? Take heart that is not what “Passages” is about. Brian Hardin did not write a book about Bible reading that will make you feel guilty instead “Passages” will motivate and inspire you to read daily. Why? Because the Bible is not a dry textbook it is a love story and we are one of the lovers involved. If anything is going to motivate us it is knowing that the story is about us and that knowledge is what begins to change us from the inside out. Brian Hardin refers to Lectio Divina-Divine Reading and he shares examples from his life and others that show how Bible reading changed them. I like this book and recommend it highly. Honestly, it will motivate and inspire you.
If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand.
To listen to 24 hours non-stop Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 7 for Passages: How Reading the Bible in a Year Will Change Everything for You
After struggling to read the Bible regularly himself, Brian Hardin, in his book, Passages, is given an insight from the Lord to start the Daily Audio Bible. This was not his desire at the beginning. In fact, he determined not to be involved with ministry from early on as a preacher’s kid. He, instead, immersed himself in the record industry for ten years.
After extreme exhaustion from long hard days of work and little time for his family, God got his attention and whispered in his ear about podcasting the Bible on the internet, starting January 1, 2006. Little did he know the blessings and peace that would come from his obedience and the ministry that would open up to the world.
Brian’s book is packed with testimonies, wisdom and insight into the blessings of reading and obeying the Word. He’s quick to let anyone know it’s not hocus pocus magic, but a real relationship with God. With all honesty, he can say that everything in your life will change in ways you never imagined if you read the Word daily. He doesn’t suggest that life will magically be perfect, but you will have peace and hope in your life.
A verse that sticks out in my mind that he includes about all Scripture is that it’s:
for gaining wisdom and instruction, for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young. Proverbs 1:2-4 Also see 2 Timothy 3:16.
Brian lists the four steps of Lectio Divina: Divine Reading, which is a tried and true method of hearing from the Lord:
Lectio: Read Meditatio: Meditate Oratio: Speak or Pray Contemplatio: Contemplate or Rest
Brian also talks about the power of the spoken Word. After reading about the spoken word as enumerated in the Scriptures, it’s taken on a whole new meaning for me. (Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Roman 10:17) We have gotten used to the printed word, which the lay people didn’t have for thousands of years, and tend to read it quietly by ourselves. I agree that there is power in the spoken Word as demonstrated by the Lord throughout the Bible, though reading it alone isn’t wrong. But there is much to gain from community reading and studying.
Brian also gives practical wisdom in taking the time to read, study and obey the word, with an emphasis on community for accountability. He gives you guidelines in getting started in the epilogue section. They are practical and vital for spiritual growth.
Included in the back are three different Bible reading plans:
The Daily Audio bible Reading plan that includes Old and New testament reading. The Chronological Bible in a Year where you follow the timeline of how events occurred. The Historical Bible in a Year, reading the books in the order that they were inspired.
This is one dynamite book to open your eyes to the wealth of blessings when you read the Bible regularly. There are more practical and spiritual insights in this book that cannot be enumerated in my review, but have touched my heart. This is a book you will not want to pass up!
As his book states: “Welcome to the adventure. 365 days in a row through the Bible in community. No apologies. No turning back.” Check out his site here for more information and to get involved.
This book was provided by Amy Lathrop of Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.
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Review 8 for Passages: How Reading the Bible in a Year Will Change Everything for You
Brian Hardin’s dream was to be a musician, but sometimes our dreams and God’s plans don’t always align. Eventually having to give up his dream, Hardin found reading the Bible therapeutic. He began reading the Bible every day and podcasting it online. Pretty soon he had numerous followers listening along. His life changed. Hardin shows us in “Passages” how reading the Bible for a few minutes a day can change your life. He shares his story and the story of how Daily Bible Audio grew to a community of well over a million listeners a month.
Hardin dispels all of our excuses and shows us how easy it is to commit to reading the Bible and shares the rewards you will reap as you continue to read. He also offers three Bible reading plans to help you get started right away.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”