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Cast of Characters [Paperback]

Max Lucado
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Max Lucado (2 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849921554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849921551
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 217,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Good Book 30 Aug 2010
[cast of characters] Addition: review paperback

Rating: 4/5

Genre: Christian Theology


Some of the most powerful stories from the Bible will come alive for today's readers through these inspiring selections from the writings of Max Lucado. Max provides a compelling look at the most high-impact moments in the biblical narrative, drawn from his previous 20+ years of writing.

At the end of each chapter will be study guide questions so the reader can go deeper into this scripture.

Extraordinary stories are told about the following characters:

Mary, Peter, Matthew, Joseph, Nicodemus, Woman at the Well, David, Esther, Job, The Samaritan Woman, John, Rich Young Man.

And more

I received this book from BookSneeze, and am glad I did. A long review is not needed for this book, as instead of one long story, Max Lucado looks at a range of different people from the Bible. Every chapter and point Lucado makes he backs up with Bible verses. It is clear from this book that he is man who knows his Bible well.

The first thing to notice is the beautiful cover. Every time I saw it I was drawn to the book. It is a gorgeous picture, full of colour and it just compelled me to read this book. Another great feature of this book is the short chapters. When I read theology books I worry that the chapters will be long and my concentration lost. This did not happen with Cast of Characters. Every chapter is only a few pages long. Lucado gets straight to the point and uses language which is simple and clear. He retells the story with modern twists, so we can see how they can be relevant to us today, and draws out what God is telling us. I found this helpful and made the book more readable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cast of Characters 3 Aug 2010
Cast of Characters by Max Lucado

The Characters in this book are people of the Bible, but also people like you and me, because each of us can identify with one or more of the people we read about. Each chapter begins with a Bible passage followed by Max's unpacking of the words, reading between the lines, and introducing modern day illustrations to bring the stories to life. And before passing on to the next chapter, there are some questions to consider, thus reinforcing what you have just read.

Those who like me have read a lot of Max's books, may feel a little disappointed to find that these chapters have been taken from his previous writings - that was my initial response - but these stories are well worth a second read! Stories of common people in the hands of an uncommon God, as the subtitle suggests. This morning, I read a chapter as part of my quiet time with the Lord, in fact this book could be used as a devotional.

I commend this book to you. If you enjoy it, you will want to read more of Max's writing and if you don't, you will have been nourished!

Review by Margaret Vaughan

(Thomas Nelson provided me with a complimentary copy of this book)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Take your time and drink it in... 14 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A truly fantastic piece of modernisation of biblical teaching...lines like 'there's a point when a man's fear exceeds his shame...' and 'if he's just a man what good is it to ask but if he's more than that, what right do I have to ask?' make you think hard about your relationship with the big G..
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read. Thought provoking. Spirit lifting. 26 Nov 2010
I read all sorts of books, but the books that keep drawing me back are books of characters.

In a Cast of Characters Max Lucado takes a set of characters from the Bible and tells their story. These aren't just a retelling of the well known stories but a new look at the familiar. Sometimes he tells the story by changing the time and the place, at other times he tells a parallel story, other's are a look at the story from another perspective.

The characters come from both the old and new testaments. Some of them a major biblical characters, others appear just once. All of them are characters.

I particularly liked the story of Jairus, who sought out Jesus for the healing of his dying daughter. This story is recast into the current as the story of Wallace a preacher and influential man. A whole new look at an encounter between Jesus and a man in need.

Rather than storming through this book I've used it as a focus for my times of quiet contemplating the questions at the end of each chapter. The questions are really well constructed, asking you to consider rather than asking for a simple a-b-c answer.

A great read. Thought provoking. Spirit lifting.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  138 reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How God uses flawed people... 20 Oct 2008
By Thomas Duff - Published on
Max Lucado is one of my favorite Christian inspirational authors, and his latest book Cast of Characters: Common People in the Hands of an Uncommon God continues to reinforce that opinion. Max has a gift of taking a character or story from the Bible, resetting it in an unusual environment, and then drawing out the application and message. It's wonderful to encounter a common passage and see it in a whole new light.

Joseph - Joseph's Prayer; Matthew - Friends of Flops; Woman Who Washed Jesus' Feet - The 7:47 Principle; Mephibosheth - The Privilege of Paupers; Samaritan Woman - Two Tombstones; Mary, Martha, and Lazarus - Your Place in God's Band; Abigail - Barbaric Behavior; Paralyzed Man - Bright Lights on Dark Nights; John - I Can Turn Your Tradegy into Triumph; Paul - Hidden Heroes; Two Criminals - I Will Let You Choose; Moses - The Voice from the Mop Bucket; Joseph - When Crickets Make You Cranky; David - Facing Your Giants; Esther - Touching the King's Heart; Job - Where Man Covers His Mouth; Nicodemus - The Most Famous Conversion in the Bible; Jairus - The Sparkle from Eternity; Rich Young Ruler - The Affluent Poor; Sarah, Peter, and Paul - The Kingdom of the Absurd; Lazarus - The Final Witness; Peter - The Gospel of the Second Chance; Conclusion - Cast of Characters; Notes; Sources

It's tempting to look at Biblical characters and attribute spiritual qualities to them, to "clean them up" to fit the way God used them. But the reality is that most of them were common people who were deeply flawed in many ways. Despite their failures, God used them in ways that made a huge impact. For instance, Moses was used to lead an entire nation to a land promised to them by God. But he spent many years hiding out in the desert, trying to escape an act of murder he committed. Peter turned his back on Jesus when he was being led to His death, yet he was used to spread the gospel to many nations. And Paul... an avowed enemy of Christianity who became an evangelist after a close encounter with God on a road in Damascus. Thought-out the book, you see that your background and status is irrelevant in terms of how God wants to use you.

On top of his inspirational messages, Lucado does an exceptional job in resetting the stories in ways that make you stop and think. Moses and the burning bush becomes Henry the janitor and the glowing mop bucket. Matthew the tax collector is living the life of a organized crime member, complete with all the bling. Jairus the rabbi becomes Wallace the high ranking official of a religious denomination. Even though the trappings of the story change, the underlying truth remains the same. Each chapter ends with a series of questions for reflection and discussion, so it can easily be used for personal devotions or small group discussions.

This is one of those books that you'll read and reread a number of times depending on whatever particular crisis you might be experiencing. And each time, you'll see facets of God's character that you never noticed or understood before...
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting inside the mind of God's cast of characters 15 Nov 2008
By Shaun Tabatt - Published on
There's a strange phenomenon that sometimes occurs when we read a book, watch a movie, or have an experience in the course of our daily lives. This phenomenon is often referred to as déjà vu. Déjà vu is the sense that you've been here, seen this, or had this experience before. It may be hard to put your finger on it, but there is a sense of the familiar. As I stated earlier, there are times we all encounter this when reading a book, especially in the pages of our Bibles. As the stories of Joseph, Job, Peter, Paul, and others Biblical persons unfold, we may relate to their experiences, personality, and character traits. Our life experiences, personality, and character traits that intersect with those of the Biblical persons draw us into their stories and make us feel like we're a part of them. The reason we can so easily relate to them is that they were normal ordinary people like you and me. Like us, they had many faults and flaws. In spite of this, God used them to change the world. This is precisely what Max Lucado is trying to communicate in his new book Cast of Characters.

Max unfolds the stories of various Biblical persons over the course of twenty three chapters. Each chapter has three parts: scripture passage, explanation of the Biblical person(s) in the scripture passage, and study questions. As Max helps the reader relate to the Biblical persons, he offers a message of hope in a God who is able to transform the direction of people's lives, just as He did with and through these Biblical persons who live so many years ago.

It's been quite some time since I've read a Max Lucado title. His work tends to be a departure from the more technical and reference type books that I'm drawn to. I was happy to find that I enjoy Max's writing style just as much as I did many years ago. The strength I see in this book is that he goes to great length to help the reader get inside the minds of these Biblical persons. I felt like I came away from reading this book with a better grasp of the heart and mind of David, Matthew, Lazarus, and others.

The layout of the book makes it ideal for a small group setting or for personal devotional reading. If you've enjoyed other books by Max Lucado, I'm confident you will find this new title to be enjoyable as well. This book would be a perfect gift for the Max Lucado reader in your life during the upcoming Christmas season.

Max Lucado is Minister of Writing and Preaching at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. He is married to Danalyn and they have three daughters. Max is the author of numerous bestselling books. Learn more about Max Lucado and his writings at [...].
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and Hard to Put Down!! 18 Jun 2009
By Angela Derossett - Published on
It has been a long time since a book has drawn me in as this book has. Max Lucado has done it again. Cast of Characters gives a great down-to-earth characterization of many well known--and not so well known Bible characters.

What was the woman at the well thinking when Jesus asked her for some water? How would a Samaritan woman react to being approached by a Jew during those times? Max Lucado takes these classic Bible stories and adds his own personal spin based on the historical details of the times. He includes people like David, Abigail, John and Paul.

I truly enjoyed this book in it's entirety. Each chapter ends in thought-provoking discussion questions that are truly meant to be shared. I highly recommend that you share this book with your spouse, a close friend, a or a Sunday school group. This book was not meant to be read alone, but to be used as a wonderful study and discussion tool.

This is a fabulous addition to your personal library or a great holiday gift for a friend. I give it 5 stars--hands down!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...when they gave up, God stepped in..." 26 Aug 2010
By P. McCurdy - Published on
2 Corinthians 12:9 My power shows up best in weak people.

Common Sense....Common Courtesy....Common Good
These are phrases that I have heard all my life. What does it mean to be common?
One of Webster's definitions is "occurring or appearing frequently; familiar."
I think that is fair because I believe we can see something of ourselves in the characters of Lucado's book, Cast of Characters.

Some of his characters are famous, like Matthew and Paul and Moses. Some of his characters are less known, like Abigail and Mephibosheth. However, famous or not, we can relate to the 'common folk' of the Bible and that gives me hope that our lives count in the eyes of a loving God.

I love how Max Lucado takes a biblical principle and makes it simple yet profound! Through this book, I see 1 Cor. 13 in a new light; you know, 'the love chapter.' He says, "Many people tell us to love. Only God gives us the power to do so." We cannot live out a love that 'is not proud' or 'does not boast' unless we have surrendered our heart to the God who calls us to love like that!

My favorite chapter is on Job, though. I've read the book of the Bible, I've heard the sermons preached, I've sat in Bible study and thought I had picked Job's life apart...until now. "Before he heard God, Job couldn't speak enough. After he heard God, he couldn't speak at all." Oh, the power of Almighty God!

If you have ever wondered if you would be able to be one of God's chosen in life...for a mission trip, a Sunday school teacher, or maybe even just to speak into someone else's life, then I would encourage you to read this book!

Near the end of the book, Mr. Lucado writes about the common bond between Sarah, Peter and Paul and how Uncommon God changed their minds about Him. I love one particular sentence used in this chapter and feel it sums up the point he is trying to make. "...when they gave up, God stepped in, and the result was a roller-coaster ride straight into the kingdom."

I want to be ready to give up and truly give it all to God and let Him make my very common life uncommon for His glory!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read! 6 Jan 2009
By Crafti Ger - Published on
Definitely a Max Attack! & Hilarious at times, too!!! Max Lucado at his best! "Cast of Characters: Common People in the Hands of an Uncommon God" takes you on a Bible ride you would have never expected. I highly recommend this for all....especially for those you have strayed away from the Bible because it may be too hard for them to comprehend. Max takes some of the stories from the Bible & turns them into our every day lives, every day situations, for us...the "Common People". Read some of the excerpts from the book and you'll feel right at home!!
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