Is your small group in need of a faith lift? John Wilks' Deep Encounter Study Series can be a useful resource to bring the faith lift about.
Each of the study books takes a biblical theme and explores it in detail, with contemporary issues to illustrate and aid application. The material takes the group into a deeper encounter with the message of the Bible and therefore with God. The explanation and exploration of the themes is clear but in no way superficial. John manages to handle tricky concepts and present them accessibly for small group discussion.
It includes an audio commentary for use within the group, which adds variety and maintains depth in the reflections. The combination of personal experience and biblical understanding makes the commentary essential listening and most useful in keeping the focus deep and significant. There are question sheets within the study booklet, which can be photocopied so that group members can have the questions in front of them without the expense of all buying a book.
John Wilks is stimulating and provocative and yet there is a pastoral concern to build people up and encourage them even when the teaching of the Bible is demanding and makes us only too aware of our weaknesses. There is a breadth to the illustrations used — from classical music and literary allusions to Star Trek and other films.
The study series is described as being for confident groups and I think that probably means those with some experience of handling the Bible who are not afraid to ask difficult questions. Maybe the author also has in mind a certain confidence or faith in God that even when the penetrating gaze of the word of God penetrates our shabby lives it is for good and for us to be more as God intended.
Dianne Tidball, March 2006
Dianne Tidball is a Regional Minister for the East Midlands Baptist Association (EMBA), before which she was the Minister of North Bushey Free Church. She is the author of Discovering John's Letters (IVP/Crossway Bible Guides, 2002) and Esther, A True First Lady (Christian Focus Publications, 2003)
Previously published by London School of Theology. Reused here by kind permission.Comments? Feedback?