Open The Bible in 30 Days can be utilized as either an individual, personal study or a small group study. Although I believe it's more effective and worthwhile as a personal study.
Smith structures the book with three parts covering different stages of the Bible:
- The Old Testament
- The Gospels
- The New Testament
Each part covers the main themes throughout the particular stage. For example, The Old Testament stage covers Knowing God the Father by discussing such themes as Creation, Covenant, Kingdom and Restoration. The Gospels stage covers Trusting Christ the Son by discussing themes including Born, Tempted, Crucified, Ascended. The New Testament stage covers Living in the Spirit by discussing themes such as Power, Conflict, Joy, Glory.
One of my favorite parts of the book as a whole is the introduction of each stage. Smith includes a graphical timeline of the themes being discussed in each chapter. It's a very simplistic timeline, but it provides such a beautiful picture for each stage while also giving the reader deeper knowledge regarding the stage.
Smith concludes the book with a study guide that can be used for small group utilization. Unfortunately I was a bit disappointed with this part. The study is completed on a weekly basis requiring multiple chapters to be read per week. Each week then includes five discussion questions. The discussion questions are too simple and too short to provide any sort of depth to a small group study. Thus, this is much more suited for individual and personal study.
Smith does a good job of covering each chapter in a profound but short and simplistic way. You cannot expect an intense and deep study when covering the entire bible in such a short book. But his overview of all the concepts seems biblically solid.
I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.