Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Inductive Bible Study

So I was absolutely stoked when I saw that I had the chance to review this book.


Because I had been wanted to study more in-depth and I had always heard that the Inductive Bible Study Method was one of the best ways to study the bible.

Now here's the kicker, I had always been studying the bible (on a very basic level) in an inductive format. But after reading this book, which is actually a textbook, I learned just how much can go into studying the bible and how there is ALWAYS something to study and learn. You can never exhaust the bible.

This particular book examines studying the bible in an inductive format: Observation, Interpretation, and Application through the perspective of History, Literature and Theology. Now what I gather this to mean is:
Observing the bible (passage, book, verse) by checking out its historical context (what prompts the author to write), literary context (how is it written, genres, literary devices are used), and understanding theology that everything flows together, nothing with contradict the other and it all points to Jesus. 
The same holds true for interpreting the bible. I love how the authors state that there is essentially one interpretation of any given verse BUT near unlimited ways that it may be applied in relation to individuals lives. 
Application is important. Nothing in the bible means anything if it is not applied. It is not to read about love than to act with love. It is not enough to read about doing the will of God BUT you must actually act upon it. James says it best: faith without works is dead. Faith can only do you so much good if your works do not echo what you profess to believe in.

So my reaction: one of the best reads EVER. This book and Searching the Scriptures by Charles Swindoll have been absolute game changers in how I study the bible.

Would I recommend? Yes, I recommend any and everyone that intends to study the bible, to get this book and read it, kind of use it as a guide on questions to ask yourself as you study. And it all starts with prayer.

{FYI: I did receive this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.}

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Jesus Today

I got Jesus Today (teen version) as a book to review and this is one of those books I am quite conflicted about.

The conflict comes in because it is apart of the Jesus Calling series of devotional books by Sarah Young.

A lot of the criticism that comes for this series is the way that Sarah Young writes in the first person as if it is God speaking to the reader. In this book, the perspective of writing is the same. However I have noticed that there is scripture included to go with each day's selection. It's almost as if (in this book) that Sarah channels what she believes the Lord is speaking to us based on different passages of Scripture.

I can understand the argument against Sarah Young. Yet after reading the devotions (not the entire book but many of the devotions) I can understand where she is coming from. Many preachers of today speak to us in a similar tone of voice, helping us to grasp the way God loves us and wants fellowship with us. Oftentimes we get so caught up in judging a person that we do not take the time to review a message along with the scripture attached to it. And realize she's not trying to actually mimic God but trying to help a hurting people see Jesus as we should see Him. Jesus wants relationship, God wants relationship. They want us to see the Bible a handwritten note from Him to us.

My honest opinion: I don't see the harm in this book. Why? Because I can see that Sarah Young is attempting to bridge the gap between what the bible says and how we can literally apply it to our thought pattern and our lives. In how we think and act in reflection of the bible. I will say it is more appropriate for both adults and teenagers.

{FYI: this is my honest opinion. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion).

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Studying in 2017

So this year, one thing I have chosen to do is to spend more time in the bible and more time studying God's Word.

I once read that how can you be completely obedient if you don't know what you're obeying. I know the bible yet there's always more to learn about God. I want to be so transparent in my relationship with God that I share my heart with Him before I share with any human.

So I am taking the liberty to utilize a couple books in my study time. Inductive Bible Study by Richard Alan Fuhr Jr and Andreas J. Kostenberger and Searching the Scriptures by Charles Swindoll.   Both of these books are phenomenal in aiding in actually studying the Bible but even more than that APPLYING the Word of God. Both of these books approach studying the bible in a similar yet different fashion. And both have drawn me in towards filling myself on the meat of the Word. I realize that so often I've been stuck on the milk of the Word and I want more out of it thus I must take my studying deeper, beyond the surface. Digging into word studies so that I can understand what the original languages intent behind words are. Because something I've learned is that often how we mean a world today in 2017 is not the same as how that word was meant in biblical days.

One thing I've learned from both is to always employ more than one Bible translation when studying. So I've compiled  about 4-5 different translations to use in my study, with two of them being study bibles.

I think that as I learn more about who God is, the more I can know Him and see Him at work each day. Chime in your study habits.

Beginner's Bible Bedtime Collection

This is a collection of Bible Stories for Bedtime Stories. So instead of the Mother Goose rhymes or other books for bedtime stories, we...