We should trust the Bible, says Timothy Paul Jones, because it is ‘grounded in the words of a man who died and rose again’ (p.111). Jones’s basic presupposition is this: ‘If we live in a world where it is possible…
- Publisher: IVP
- ISBN: 978-1-78359-361-3
- Pages: 96
- Price: 4.99
Comprised of seven Bible studies, this book explores real discipleship. Each aspect is presented as affecting the whole of the disciple’s life. There is a whole-life gospel, whole-life wisdom, whole-life purpose, and so on, through fruitfulness, mission, hope and worship.
The studies are excellent. Introduced by a theme, each study explores an appropriate biblical passage. Chapters invite deeper consideration of the theme, how to apply the principles learned, what to pray for, and closing suggestions for further study. Interspersed are helpful quotes and illustrations (though I did not warm to a poem which printed the name of the ‘Father’ of Jesus as ‘father’, even ‘dad’, and Jesus as ‘son’).
The authors claim that the studies can be used for individual ends as well as small-group study. This is potentially a great move for building up the local church. However, I fear that the studies, done properly, could take longer to complete than many small groups could handle in one sitting, due to restrictions in time or ability.
The book is attractively produced, being simple and clear. The ‘notes for leaders’, toward the back, are useful.
While it was plain enough that the Word of God was shaping the direction of each theme studied, I felt that the centrality of Scripture was somewhat unspecified. I wonder if a further study on the authoritative place of God’s Word to direct and guide might have enhanced the book. A study on ‘whole-life service’ too might have improved the book.
For the thoughtful small group or the disciplined individual, this could form a great study series. It is overtly and warmly Christ-centred and values discipleship lived out by ordinary believers.