Lindsay Olesberg and Ajith Fernando
InterVarsity Connect, 2012, 240 pp., $18
I remember from when I was a younger how I soaked up God’s Word as if it would physically leave me if I did not pay attention to it daily. Now that I am older, I understand how true that fear was. As we get older or do anything for a long period of time, there is a danger in becoming overly confident. The steel worker who has “done this a hundred times” is prone to accidents and in danger of hurting himself or others. More dangerous is the preacher who believes he has learned all he can from God’s Word and decides to quit studying. Lindsey Olesberg and Ajith Fernando’s new book The Bible Study Handbook is God’s reminder to me that I never will know it all and should continue to dig into God’s Word.
Olesberg, as many other have, tackles manuscript study or the inductive Bible study method, but this is still a timely book. Students today spend very little time digging in to God’s Word, my own in included. Teens’ and adults’ attention levels have been destroyed by the Internet and gadgets. The Bible Study Handbook is a call to dig deeper and stay longer in God’s Word in a world that celebrates the shallow and 30-second YouTube videos. Part One of the book breaks down the Foundations of deeper study. In part Part Two, Olesberg offers us the Building Blocks of working through Scripture. Finally in Part Three, she offers the Tools of Inductive Bible Study. If you’ve managed to read this review without checking your phone for messages, you could read this in a few sittings. On the other hand, if you became distracted, don’t worry: It’s a sign you might need this book more than you think.
I don’t know what the solution is to getting kids to read Scriptures daily and deeply, but this book will challenge you as it challenged me to be an example to them in word and deed.