This is the second book in the Dig Deeper series, first published in 2010. The first book in the series, the original Dig Deeper, introduces and teaches 16 tools for you to dig into the meaning and treasure of God’s written word. You can read my brief review of the first Dig Deeper here.
Now on to the book under the spotlight in this post!
It’s clear from the front cover it’s a Christian book (title, subtitle, publisher and authors). It belongs to “help reading the Bible” shelf in my church bookstall although it’s definitely not one of those bricky commentaries. It’s about 200 pages. With a quick flick through you’ll be able to tell (by the font size and line space) that it’s not one that you have to read sitting up straight, eyebrows screwing tight and needing a break after every page.
To summarise the book in a sentence: Dig Even Deeper goes through the whole of Exodus under 14 keywords, and applying the 16 tools introduced in Dig Deeper it teaches and encourages the readers to handle the Bible correctly, faithfully and fruitfully. Its own statement sentence is this:
“But it’s not our aim simply to tell you what Exodus means. We want to share with you why we think it means what it does, how we came to this understanding, and what discoveries we made. Rather than a Hollywood movie, this book is going to be more like the ‘how-they-made-the-movie’ footage that you get on the DVD extras.”
The book is arranged according to the storyline of Exodus and the tools are taken out of the toolkit as needed. But to make the best use of the tools, I strongly recommend you to read Dig Deeper first!
Why I Love It
It’s like having tour guides during the time of Moses in Egypt, at Mount Sinai and later on in the wilderness. Andrew Sach and Richard Alldritt stand right next to me, take me to places I’ve never been and point out to me the various landmarks and hidden interests that I never noticed before in the book of Exodus. They patiently explain and encourage me to look hard and think, “can you see?” “what do you think it means?” “have a go yourself!” Richard is such a fun person to listen to. Even from the very beginning, on the acknowledgement page, I knew I was into something different. It says: “Richard would like to thank his wife… for letting him choose ‘Munro’ as our son’s middle name.” Very quickly I realised this was something different in a good way!
Apart from all the knowledge and skills the authors imparted to me, I learnt that reading the Bible is hard work but fun work. Their mind is definitely diligent and serious, but their heart at the same time is glad and joyful.
The book is really informal and interactive in style, it’s really one of a kind in my book collection! For example, at the beginning of the chapter on Moses’ Father-in-Law (one of my favourite chapters!), it says: “… There is nothing in the divinely inspired account that tells us that he has a beard, a checked lumberjack shirt and a 4×4 jeep, but somehow that’s the image we can’t shake off!”
I also had unpleasant experience reading books written by two authors. But in this one, Andrew and Richard collaborated brilliantly. I had the feeling Andrew is the serious one (judging by his music taste and the way he makes coffee, described in the book) and Richard is the funny one (quote: “After forty days and forty nights with Yahweh on the mountain, Moses descends with a face resembling a lighthouse, an effect that Andrew can now achieve sometimes on a sunny day, thanks to advanced baldness (thanks for that, Richard)”).
It’s dotted with italics and brackets with little passing comments from the authors (“Pray for him to repent, and avoid his book. It’s astonishingly expensive anyway”). They even made a deliberate typesetting mistake to make a point. I was surprised IVP let them! (Check out page 152.)
But through all the seriousness and the fun, I feel the passion of them both coming through the pages.
I have started reading the next book in the series, Dig Deeper into the Gospels. To be honest, I was slightly disappointed that Richard is not one of the authors. But I’m equally excited about what I’m going to find in this new adventure. I also read brilliant news that they might keep going and write more books in this series on Old Testament prophecies and New Testament letters!
At the moment, I obediently stopped in the middle of the introduction of the book, because it asks me to read through Mark’s Gospel first before carrying on, just as Dig Even Deeper asked me to read Exodus first! That’s something I really appreciate (“read words written by Almighty God rather than books by some blokes in East London)”! So to add to all their brilliance, there’s also humility.
I thoroughly recommend it. What are you waiting for?! Happy reading!