As a kid, I really enjoyed the old “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. They were sort of like a game inside a book. You would read to a certain point, then be presented with a choice, something like: “If you choose to explore the old mine, go to page 71. If you choose to go back to the lake, go to page 42.” There were all sorts of stories and lots of imitations, but the books were great fun.
That’s why I was intrigued when Luddite Press asked me to review their new electronic version of the Bible, the Choose Your Own Doctrine Bible. You won’t find them in stores; Luddite Press only publishes e-books. But it’s worth hunting them down and exploring the other cutting-edge titles that they offer.
The Choose Your Own Doctrine Bible is based on the God’s Word Translation of the Bible. It is designed to help the reader avoid confusion when faced with possible interpretations of a text. All you have to do is choose which doctrine you want to believe, and the hyperlinked text will lead you right to the appropriate passage. For example, you find this is Romans 10:
” 9 If you declare that Jesus is Lord, and believe that God brought him back to life, you will be saved. 10 By believing you receive God’s approval, and by declaring your faith you are saved. 11 Scripture says, “Whoever believes in him will not be ashamed.”
If you want to believe in salvation by belief alone, go to John 6:47.
If you want to believe that baptism is necessary for salvation, go to Acts 22:16.”
(I wish I could format the quote in a way that you could appreciate the layout. It’s very elegantly done, with all the advantages of modern typesetting).
I think you can see the usefulness of this system. No more having to think about what others might believe; you can easily lock yourself into one belief system and stay there.
My one complaint, I guess is that this system can still be confusing for those who haven’t yet been told what they are supposed to believe. I’m thinking that it would have been more useful to have the passages coded by denominational group (Catholic, Baptist, etc.) or overarching belief system (Calvinist, Arminian, Neo-Platonic Gnostic, etc.). I can see how that would greatly complicate the system however. Just within the churches of Christ, we would need several different threads. I could see, for example, something at Acts 20:7 that says, “If you walk the old paths, go to 1 Corinthians 16:2. If you are a progressive change agent, go to Acts 2:46.”
I don’t think I’ll be using this Bible for my own personal use, but it’s an intriguing concept. You should take a look at it. If you’d like to see a video demo of the Choose Your Own Doctrine Bible in action, you can see one here.
For other reviews that are participating in this blog tour, follow this link.
I was in no way compensated for this review nor required to offer a positive review.