Fools, Liars, Cheaters and other Bible Heroes

Fools, Liars, Cheaters and other Bible Heroes

Barbara Hosbach, Fransciscan Media

I was introduced to some of the Bible’s “characters” through the genealogies of Jesus and the genealogies in the Hebrew scriptures. So I couldn’t resist a title like this one.

Barbara leads the reader through a series of short studies (28 actually) on a few of the “characters” in the scriptures. An easy read drawing on sociology, anthropology, history and a good quota of imagination in a light psychological delving into the nature of God’s dealings with his people.

With a couple of questions at the conclusion of each reflection to draw out insights and applications for the readers own spiritual journey and process.

It would make an interesting series of studies to share with a group who were able to cope with God’s wicked sense of humour.

The overall message is that God’s grace reaches beyond our weaknesses, infirmities, social backgrounds and knowledge to work out God’s purpose in the world. Assuring us “that God has a plan for us, too. We can faithfully perform the tasks at hand. When opportunities present themselves, we can accept the responsibilities that come our way.”

If I have a question it relates to what task it is that God calls us to, and what are these opportunities? And the range of people and situations Barbara leads us through does not help; in fact it leaves me with the impression that whatever I am involved in doesn’t seem to matter — God does not seem to consider the background or the ethics of the people he calls to a task (as the title suggests).

I find that rather comforting, perhaps because I also have a wicked sense of humour, but mainly because it presents such a gracious picture of God. God is the loving father of saints and sinners and it seems the sinners often get special attention — and challenge — in God’s economy.

In summary, an enjoyable read on how God shares and involves all sorts of people in the Kingdom, giving me some hope that even I might be useful; but at the same time it left me with more questions than answers.

Rob Dummermuth

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