Friday, August 19, 2011

One-to-one bible reading

One-to-One Bible Reading, David Helm

This is an excellent little resource for those who would like to read the bible with someone but just don’t really know where to start. It is appropriate for any person you might meet with: non-Christian, new-Christian, or committed Christian.

Here are words from Helm we all need to hear:
the greatest hindrance to inviting someone to read one-to-one will be an unbiblical view that you are not ready for this. You will tell yourself you haven’t been properly trained, or simply don’t know enough about the bible to help another person along the way. In fact, you may even try to convince yourself that someone should be initiating reading the bible one-to-one with you, rather than you initiating it with another person. It’s a tempting thought.

But it’s also not true.

Any committed Christian is capable of initiating a good conversation on a biblical text. (p24, emphasis mine)

However, the truth is, many of us are just too scared to try. This book is what you need to give you some help. Part 1 covers the basics of what to do in one-to-one bible reading, why to do it and how to go about it.

Part 2 gives some methods on how to actually read the bible with someone, and some guidelines. He introduces both the Swedish method and the COMA method of bible reading, with the clearest explanations of both that I have read.

Then, comes the material that is invaluable for those starting out - there are suggested books of the bible (divided up into sections) for different people (non-Christians, new Christians, etc). There are whole sets of questions for different types of literature (gospels, OT narrative, prophetic, wisdom, epistles, etc). Then there is a set of 8 studies working through Marks’ gospel - perfect to start with an unbeliever. All of these are even reproduced again at the back of the book as photocopyable sheets. You can also download them.

I think this should be standard reading for all committed Christians, especially bible study leaders, youth group leaders, etc. Give them out this year as Christmas presents!

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