(Crossway Bible Guides)
The series of Crossway Bible Guides is nearing completion — at least for the New Testament. The series has shown itself to be extremely useful and usable for the intended audience.
The characteristics which have made the series a God-send for hard-pressed Bible study leaders are all in place here — questions to start discussion, sections for digging deeper and comments direct to the reader from the author... in this case Dianne Tidball, one half of the prolific Tidball book factory situated on site at LST.
"Christians Under Threat" explores the world of 1 Peter and explains the original setting just before the balloon went up for Christians under Nero's reign as well as the relevance of the letter for today. Some tricky questions emerge and issues such as Christian attitudes to the state, slavery, the role of women, leadership and even preaching to the departed spirits (!) all get a brief exploration followed by hints at application and questions for further use especially in a group situation.
"Beware of the Conmen" does a similar job for 2 Peter, exploring issues which are as relevant for today as they were for Christians two thousand years ago — corruption, bad leadership and the inevitability of God's judgment are handled with a light touch though a clear eye for how application can work for people today.
"Fight for the Faith" does the same for Jude.
The considerable similarities between Jude and 2 Peter are acknowledged as well as the possible references to non-canonical literature. All of which demonstrates that a real concern is being taken for the historical and literary questions, which these less known New Testament texts throw up. All of this should not overlook the fact that Dianne keeps our feet equally, if not more, planted in the real world of the 21st Century. Her exposition includes many good illustrations from contemporary life and not a few time-strapped pastors will discover a useful outline or illustration to help with the weekend's sermon.
Many will be delighted to see this most usable New Testament commentary series completed and the editors (especially Steve Motyer, who also signs himself "Prolific of LST") should take some credit for it. Well done, Steve. And well done, Dianne.
Robert Willoughby, March 2007
Robert Willoughby teaches New Testament and Children's Ministry at London School of Theology. He is the author of The Children's Guide to the Bible, Angels and So, who is God?, all from Scripture Union, and is a regular contributor to Scripture Union's daily Bible reading notes, Encounter with God.
Previously published by London School of Theology. Reused here by kind permission.Order from www.christianbookshops.org
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