I recently read Less Than Perfect: Broken Men and Women of the Bible and What We Can Learn from Them by Ann Spangler.
From the back of the book:
What can the Bible's most flawed men and women reveal about who God is and how he reaches out to less-than-perfect people? Bestselling author Ann Spangler takes us beyond cardboard cutouts of 38 biblical characters to reveal real people with many of the same dreams, temptations, and weaknesses we have.
Whether considering the murderous Herodias, the scheming Jacob, or the doubting Sarah, Spangler approaches both familiar and lesser-known characters with fresh eyes, bringing them to life for modern readers by including key cultural and historical insights. As you learn more about the people who are part of your spiritual family tree, you'll discover why God loves to use imperfect people to tell his perfect story of redemption. Designed for individual reading or small group study.
Each of the thirty chapters in the book begins with a Bible verse or two, followed by a retelling of the story in the author's words. Next, there is a section called "The Times," in which the author conveys a bit of historical context to the story, followed by "The Takeaway," in which the author poses a few questions suitable for reflection or discussion.
I appreciated the historical context provided by each "The Times" section. I think modern Christ followers miss so much as we read scripture because we don't understand the cultural norms of the times. I found the reflection questions in "The Takeaway" to be thought-provoking, and useful in finding a way to apply lessons from the story to modern life.
I received this book for free from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.