Are you getting the spiritual nourishment you need?
We’ve all experienced times when we have not eaten a balanced diet or we’ve eaten too many sweets. We feel sick, light-headed, and occasionally depressed, or we become irritated and edgy. It’s the body’s way of letting us know that it’s lacking sufficient nourishment. Optimal health requires optimal nutrition. The same is true spiritually speaking. Without sufficient and regular biblical nutrition, our inner life begins to suffer the consequences. We become shallow and selfish, more demanding and less gentle, and quick to react impatiently, rashly, and angrily. These are telltale signs of inner malnutrition.
In Searching the Scriptures, respected Bible teacher Chuck Swindoll shows us how to dig deep into Scripture and uncover its profound truths for our lives. He outlines the principles of Bible study that will help you understand God’s Word, apply it, and communicate it clearly to those around you. Too many people try to go it alone, without a guide, for this life and the next. Chuck explains how we can fix our own spiritual meals, then invites us to feast on nourishing truths we can discover in God’s Word.
**I received a copy of this book from the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**
I’m so excited to have an oppertunity to review Searching the Scriptures. Growing up in a church and a Christian household the Bible was important. It was something that was encouraged to read and study. But, I was never really taught the “how” when it came to opening it up. There are plenty of ways I’m sure, but this book intrigued me so I thought I would pick it up and see what it offered. For this review, I plan to talk about the parts of this book and explain what it is and how it is useful. Swindoll uses the analogy of finding recipes, cooking, and then eating as a way to explain how to study the Bible.
Section 1: Finding the Food
This section of the book is just a couple of chapters. The first, is a very high-level survey of the Bible. There’s a brief description of the history of the Bible and how it is organized. The second chapter focuses on preparing your heart to study the Bible. It reminds us that it has to be a priority and intentional. It reminds us that we have to prepare our hearts in prayer to open the Bible and learn from it.
Section 2: Preparing the Meal
In this first chapter, Swindoll goes in depth to describe his method of study: 1) Observation; 2) Interpretation; 3) Correlation; and 4) Application. He also suggests tools to have beyond your Bible: Maps, Dictionary, Concordance, etc. The remaining 4 chapters in this section focuses in depth on each of those 4 stages of study. Each chapter is filled with tools and examples of how to implement them.
Section 3: Serving the Feast
This final section is dedicated to what should we do with the knowledge that we gain from studying scripture. We should share it. In these chapters, Swindoll focuses on how we can share the Word of God and make it relatable to those we are speaking to and meet them on their level.
Overall, I’m impressed with this book. I’ll be honest in that the process as a whole feels daunting. There is a lot to it. But, broken into chunks it feels more manageable. Plus, this book is also full to tools and examples (Swindoll pretty much goes through a passage of scripture with each step to demonstrate how to study it). While there are multiple ways of studying the Bible, I think nearly everyone could find something useful from this book.
The book also contains some questions and tasks at the end of each chapter that help you practice what you just read. I could see this book being incredibly helpful to new believers or as a book in a Bible study group. But of course, also valuable to an individual person.
“The Bible doesn’t yield its treasures to the lazy soul.”
-Charles R. Swindoll, Searching the Scriptures