Book Review: Education or Imitation?, by Curt (Voice) AllenBy Trillia Newbell | February 2nd, 2012 | Category: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
By Trillia Newbell
Do you ever approach the Bible and think you just aren’t smart enough to truly “get it”? It can be a temptation to read the Bible and feel like you need an interpreter. Maybe you listen to a sermon or read an article or speak with an intellectual friend and their words seem like their revelation of the Word is just too great to ever obtain. In his book Education or Imitation? Bible Interpretation For Dummies Like You and Me, Curt (Voice) Allen has some good news for you. You don’t have to be a scholar, have a seminary degree, or even be remotely smart to know Gods’ Word; Allen suggests it’s about imitation not education.
Education or Imitation? has five chapters: Why Interpretation Matters in Everything; From the Garden to a Grainfield; Jesus the Interpreter; From Interpretation to Application; and From Me-ology to Theology. He begins the book with a riveting story that tells of his younger days on the streets of Washington D.C. Once you are captivated, and you will be, he begins to make his case that Jesus is the greatest Bible interpreter and we are merely to imitate him. But to imitate Jesus, we must learn how to interpret what he says rightly. In chapter two Allen begins to tell us how to do so.
In the next chapters, Allen lays out bad interpreters of Scripture through biblical references such as Satan, Adam and Eve, Saul the King and the Pharisees. He walks through various stories and scenarios to explain how each had twisted Scripture. By the fifth chapter he has now turned from explaining to helping us learn how to apply what we’ve read and the proper questions to ask to interpret the Word rightly. One of the most helpful statements was “God’s self-revelation is in the book that we call the Bible. He has matched the content of that book to our capacity to understand, and he has given us the Spirit as Helper.”
Curt Allen wrote this book as if he were speaking to a friend. It’s relatable, encouraging and the language is natural. It’s an easy read yet packed with wisdom and encouragement. I walked away eager to read God’s Word. What I really appreciated most about the book is it is void of criticizing doctrine that isn’t the authors. Allen’s focus is on Jesus, the Word and how all people, regardless of Christian affiliation, denomination or doctrine, may approach the Bible to learn and be imitators of Christ.