Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Books #26: Living by the Book by Howard Hendricks

Have you ever been trained to read and study the Bible? Living by the Book by Howard Hendricks is the clearest and simplist book that I have read to recommend to people on how to study the Bible. This book reached this high on the list not necessarily because it was life changing for me in how I study the Bible. But it has been the book that I have used the most in helping other people learn how to study the Bible.

The book is broken down into the basic steps of Bible study method. First, observation; second, interpretation; third, application. Each of these are vitally important.

The one part of the book that was most impactful to me was the section on Ten Strategies to First-Rate Reading. He takes some time to teach us how to be good readers of the Bible. He says, "If you don't understand what you are reading, then you are not reading--you are wasting time. I'm afraid that many people come away from the Word having basically wasted their time, because if their life depended on it, they couldn't tell you what they read" (65). Hendricks goes on in the next several chapters to explain how to be a better reader. Here are his ten strategies:

  1. Read Thoughtfully
  2. Read Repeatedly
  3. Read Patiently
  4. Read Selectively
  5. Read Prayerfully
  6. Read Imaginatively
  7. Read Meditatively
  8. Read Purposefully
  9. Read Acquisitively
  10. Read Telescopically
It is a new year. It is not too late to make a new year's resolution. Why don't you make it your goal this year to become a better reader of the Bible, a better studier of the Bible. It starts with a book like this to help you understand how to be a student. If you have never taken a class on hermeneutics (the art and science on how to study the Bible), then this is the sort of introductory book that you need to read. It will impact you for life!

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