This Is the Book Review That Turned Into a Lesson on Writing Titles

THINC About It

Let’s start with what I don’t like about his book. The title: THINC About It: Reading Christ in Scripture. Exactly the kind of title you might find in the catalog of a publisher who doesn’t know how to market a book.

That’s a shame because this book deserves better than that.

A book–especially a non-fiction book–lives or dies by the title. The title’s job is to get people’s attention. And you do that by communicating something useful, unique, ultra-specific and urgent.

THINC About IT provides none of that. The subtitle suggests its utility: Reading Christ in Scripture. But the average reader will ask why should I care? What is in it for me? Take a look at these non-fiction titles:

  • Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us
  • Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
  • How to Lie with Statistics
  • Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

I might read those books based upon the title alone. They at least got me to click-through and find out more. THINC About It: Reading Christ in Scripture wouldn’t do that. I’ve since read the book and know what it is about, so let me make some suggestions for better titles:

  • Because You Are Probably Reading the Bible Wrong
  • The Truth about Reading the Bible Correctly
  • How to Get the Most Out of Your Bible Reading with the THINC Method
  • THINC About It: A 5-Step Method for Reading the Bible for All It Is Worth

Those four ideas at least give the book a fighting chance in a hyper-competitive publishing world.

The Review Proper

THINC about it is an entry-level lesson on examining biblical texts. The dominating assumption is that you don’t know how to read it correctly. In fact, you are probably doing it wrong. Woodward suggests his own experience as proof.

There is a lot of truth to this. Our current church culture doesn’t put a high premium on correct biblical study. But reading the Bible correctly doesn’t mean you need to know Greek or Hebrew. You just need to know what to look for and what to avoid. And Woodward shows you how using his method.

THINC breaks down to Trust, Halt, Immediate Context, Navigation and Christ-centric. These are the steps that should guide you through your Bible study. Like most subjective methods that are built around an acronym you get the sense these are a little forced. It’s not perfect. It’s hard to get this right. Woodward did a great job though.

And you might be able to fuss about the particular order or line up. Woodward is a scholar so I think he’s on the money. He wouldn’t steer you wrong.

This is a short book. You could read it in an hour. A little bit longer if you did the study questions at the end of each chapter. And if you’ve never read a book on how to read your Bible correctly, THINC About It is a great place to start.

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