Thursday, February 9, 2012

N. T. Wright for Everyone Bible Study Guides: Luke


Let one of the world’s finest theologians lead you in a study of Luke.

N. T. Wright for Everyone Bible Study Guides
Luke: 26 Studies for Individuals and Groups
Author: N. T. Wright with Patty Pell
Publisher: IVP Connect
Pages: 142

One of my earliest memories as a new Christian was answering questions in a bible study book. Back in the late seventies, branding of popular Christian authors was not what it is today where you have a multitude of bible studies tied to high-profile Christians. Nevertheless, my plain-looking booklet, covering the basics of the Christian life, accomplished the same purpose as its fancier modern-day relatives. It forced me to read and ponder the texts of Scripture that I might know and apply the meaning.

I wonder how many make use of this kind of resource? Most of the teaching we get is given to us without requiring much effort on our part. The potential payback of using a bible study guide is high. Finding truth through your own diligent study is meaningful and memorable. There is joy in discovery, and thoughts of what you learn linger.

Today there are a host of competent study guides that can be chosen. Each one will have some of the author’s distinctives, which is not necessarily bad but something to keep in mind. No person’s judgment is infallible. It is helpful, however, to learn from an experienced teacher, recognizing that what they see or highlight might be different from another teacher. This is why it can be beneficial to go through a study with others and even consult additional resources like a bible dictionary or commentary. It can serve to more fully bring out the meaning and possible applications of a text.

N. T. Wright’s Luke as the subtitle indicates is appropriate for individuals and groups. Each of the 26 studies starts with a creative open designed by Wright to get the reader thinking along the lines of the lesson. This is followed by a study section that includes questions and space for writing answers. Like a modern-day scribe, his questions lead readers to new discoveries. Along the way he interjects small bits of commentary. As a practical consideration, it may be easier to use a notebook or legal pad for writing and taking notes. Suggestions for prayer close each study.

Those who appreciate Wright’s ability to convey the larger picture will not be disappointed. His kingdom perspective that rightly sees Christ and His salvation as the continuation of one long story is an influence. Wright’s interest in how Scripture relates to history and social justice is also felt.

Wright has studies covering most of the New Testament books with the last four study guides forthcoming.

You can’t go wrong with a resource like this. If you can appreciate the scholarship of one of the finest theologians of our day, avail yourself of this or one of his other studies. It is helpful to let a favorite author, minister or teacher lead you in a study of Scripture.
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