Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Searching the Scriptures by Charles R. Swindoll

In Searching the Scriptures, Chuck Swindoll uses the imagery of preparing a meal to learn methods of preparing a spiritual feast to nourish our souls. A respected Bible teacher, Swindoll uses the tried and true methods he has learned at school and further honed in years of practicing to help everyone understand God’s Word, apply it, and communicate it clearly to others. With this guide and shared wisdom, you will be better prepared to nourish yourself and others with the meat, rather than spiritual milk only, as you dig into your Bible and study it diligently. Searching the Scriptures: Find the Nourishment Your Soul Needs is a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to take the time and effort to study for themselves rather than simply learning what others have to say. Scripture can be wildly misinterpreted by some, so it is always good to study for yourself. I was reminded of 2 Timothy 2:15, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn't need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth." How better to do that than by studying for yourself? Using similar methods to preparing a meal, Swindoll divides his book into 3 parts:
  • Stage 1 - Finding the Food
  • Stage 2 - Preparing the Meal
  • Stage 3 - Serving the Feast
Swindoll gives you a list of tools needed to help you begin the diligent study of God's Word, including some personal favorites he uses. Since the vast array that is available can be overwhelming, I loved getting his recommendations. Just as a novice cook can be bewildered at where to begin and what to have stocked, so can a new student of the Bible.

Throughout the book, he gives personal examples and instructions, along with homework at the end of each chapter to help you practice. On a personal note, I am not a good cook, but I am told that it is because I don't put time and effort into it. I can see the same principle working here. Instead of a diet of snack memes or or random Facebook posts of Scripture, his goal is to help the reader learn to have the proper tools and ingredients, to study the effect of what does work or not work together (buttermilk, lard, and flour may not be good to eat alone, but mix them together and you can bake amazing biscuits) to create something filling and nourishing for your soul.

Finally, once you have learned how to study Scripture for yourself, you are then better equipped to share it with others...and to teach others how to do this for themselves. Does this look easy? No, I am actually a little intimidated by some of it (even more so than I am a cookbook!), but the reward of knowing I can study Scripture and gain greater understanding is well worth the effort. There are some amazing preachers and teachers to hear, but nothing beats doing it yourself. After all, we are instructed, "
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." - 1 Peter 3:15. It is always easier to explain something you have learned for yourself.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. I was only required to give an honest review.

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