Review: Retelling the Story

Zac Harrell reviews the "Retelling the Story" series by Russ Ramsey.

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Retelling The Story

By Russ Ramsey (IVP)

In his Retelling The Story series, Russ Ramsey takes us through the biblical narrative from Genesis to Revelation. In the three books, Ramsey doesn’t give us a reimagining but a retelling of many of the well-known scriptural narratives. He doesn’t change the details; rather, he opens the window of the emotional life and the inner thoughts of the characters in God’s great plan of redemption. His stated goal is to “capture your imagination in ways that will serve your lifelong study of the Bible.” Ramsey wants to point our hearts to the God revealed in Scripture and to refresh our hearts to the beauty of God’s word.

The Advent Of The Lamb Of God takes us through the Old Testament’s promises and prophecies to show how God always has pursued his people. Ramsey tells this story in 25 chapters, making it a perfect devotional reading for Advent. The book takes us from creation and the fall to show us God’s promise of redemption, following the thread of this promise that culminates in the child in a Bethlehem manger.

The Passion Of The King Of Glory retells the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus. Many of us have heard these narratives our whole lives, but Ramsey makes them come alive with beauty as he points our hearts to the glory and grace of Jesus. By dividing the story into 40 chapters, Ramsey provides an ideal daily devotional for the season of Lent, leading us toward the empty tomb of Easter.

The Mission Of The Body Of Christ retells the book of Acts. Ramsey recounts the spread of the early church through persecution and the faithfulness of early believers to share the gospel. The chapters he devotes to the Apostle Paul are some of the strongest in the series, providing us greater understanding of Paul’s life and ministry. God’s work to redeem and restore finds its fulfillment in Jesus, and Christ’s work advances through the ministry of the church.

Retelling The Story gives us fresh eyes to fall more in love with God’s word and the story of salvation it tells. If you have heard the old, old story so many times it seems stale, pick up any of these three books and let Russ Ramsey remind you of the beauty of God’s work of redemption through the ages.

Zac Harrel, pastor
First Baptist Church

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