Begin edited by Ken Ham and Bodie Hodge
Begin: A Journey Through Scriptures for Seekers and New Believers. Edited by Ken Ham and Bodie Hodge. Green Forest: Master Books, 2011. $12.99. Purchase at Amazon for less.
Ken Ham is the founder of Answers In Genesis–a ministry dedicated to reclaiming the authority of Scripture especially the foundation of the Bible in Genesis 1. . You can read other reviews I have written of Ken’s books here.
Bodie Hodge graduated from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale (90 minutes from my house) where he received a B.S and an M.S. in mechanical engineering. He now serves as a speaker, writer, and researcher for Answers in Genesis and is a co-author of Dragons: Legend & Lore of Dinosaurs. You can read the review of that resource here.
Extracting passages and books from the English Standard Version Bible, Ken Ham and Bodie Hodge have compiled five important sections to provide a new believer with a decent biblical theology. Beginning in Genesis 1-11 as the foundation for all of the Bible, they move to Exodus 20 where the Lord gives to Moses the 10 Commandments.
After an extremely brief history from Exodus 20 to Matthew 1 (3 pages!), they introduce the life of Christ through the lens of the Gospel of John. They next offer 2 page overview of basically the book of Acts and then divide the book of Romans into three parts. They conclude with another 2 page overview of the rest of the epistles in the New Testament and then give us Revelation 21 and 22.
The final “section” is an explanation of what it means to be saved coupled with an exhortation to boldly proclaim a biblical worldview. Here they equip the reader/student with 10 basics of the faith (including a literal understanding of Genesis 1). The final chapter looks at the inerrancy and authority of Scripture as they answer the charge that the Bible was written by man.
As with any resource Ken Ham has a hand in, you will be given a steady dose of why the foundation of the entire Bible is rooted in a literal understanding of Genesis 1. Thankfully, Begin is no different. Each section offers ample space to write out thoughts as well as interact with questions liberally sprinkled throughout.
The editors allow the Bible to speak for itself while offering a guide to show how the New Testament fulfills the Old while the Old is the foundation for the New. I would have liked, however, to see a few more selections from the Old Testament such as the covenants with Abraham and David as they are essential to our understanding of why Jesus Christ did come (to fulfill the Law and the Prophets and for God to keep His covenant promises). Nonetheless, the editors achieved their goal of providing an introductory study to biblical theology rooted in Scripture.
Begin is a wonderful resource for your new believer’s/members class at your local church. It can be for personal study or group study. It can be used devotionally or in a homeschool setting. It deserves our attention and consideration as a viable apologetic for the new believer or the one who has questions about the Christian faith in general.