A Tool for using Proverbs Practically
Proverbs: “Reconstructed”. Gus Dallas. Bloomington, IN: WestBow Press A Division of Thomas Nelson (June 7, 2011). 283 pages. Reviewed by Rev. Russell A. Whitfield
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Gus Dallas has attempted to “reconstruct” the book of Proverbs to read in a manner from the perspective of various life topics. The make-up of such a book(s) is not traditionally considered scholarly or philosophical. It is the author’s attempt to structure the book of wisdom called Proverbs as an aide for: the pastor/counselor, the parent raising his/her children, and/or the individual Christian looking for a fresh approach to reading Proverbs devotionally. Its original intent is not to be read from pages 1 to 283 in one sitting, rather it is written to be used as a personal daily Bible study or teaching tool. Proverbs: “Reconstructed” is written with the life instructions addressed by the book of Proverbs in mind as godly wisdom for every believer.
As an author, Gus Dallas, a resident of the state of Missouri, does not qualify on the basis of experience with other authors, education as a writer, or the ideal writer. Dallas’ experiences as a man who has been at rock bottom, and was pulled out by the victorious power of God, qualify him as an author who has been guided by God’s principles through his life. He has written this book to apply the principles of Proverbs to everyday life stories experienced.
Proverbs: “Reconstructed” offers an approach to teaching and understanding the Book of Proverbs from the viewpoint of how it can serve its readers in their every day needs. It is a practical book that pastors are encouraged to use in sermon prep, counseling, and other ceremonies. Parents are urged to make the book useful as they raise their children through the many challenges and/or celebrations the child may be confronted by through the course of their life. Dallas’ book is a simplistic aid to the many answers needed for daily life and choices from the perspective of Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”
The chapters/sections are organized by 320 topics or life situations & emotions in order to organize chunks of the book of Proverbs.The topics appear to follow various categories such as: various emotions that are experienced in life, disciplines needed in the Christian life, appropriate responses to life situations, and instructions for life choices. As each section headlines a particular topic, the author will identify it as good or bad. There are times in the book that he will share verses/proverbs that deal the good and bad nature of the topic headlined. The words identified as both good and bad are: answer, instruction, knowledge, Law, witness, and more.
I picked this book for review because of the unique title, Proverbs: “Reconstructed”, thatDallas chose for his book. As I began to look more into the book, I recognized immediately a contrast in the organization of this book compared to other books I have read. The chapters were more headlined by a one word topic, as opposed to most similar books I have reviewed. It has an appearance of disorder with no direction, until you read the information about the author and his background. After understanding Dallas’ background, my eyes were opened to the benefit this book offers to its readers. I would most definitely categorize this book as a topical book that would serve as a counseling tool for the pastor/counselor, a devotional guide for the individual believer, and/or parent guide for teaching their children. Dallas’ life experience from rock bottom to a victorious Christian life because of Jesus Christ serves to identify this book as a spiritual source for both the maturing believer.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”