Tag Archives: Tim Challies
In celebration of Reformation Week we are discounting a number of our eBooks by leading reformed thinkers. Don’t miss this chance to load your e-reading device with excellent, inexpensive books!
Center Church by Tim Keller; $20.99 list, SALE $8.99 or less
For the City by Darrin Patrick and Matt Carter; $6.99 list, SALE $4.99 or less
Gospel Coach by Scott Thomas and Tom Wood; $6.99 list, SALE $4.99 or less
The Next Story by Tim Challies; $10.99 list, SALE $4.99 or less
I read a great article on reformation21 (HT:Challies) about Effective Group Bible Study. My main focus at Zondervan is to tell the world about our fabulous small group curriculum, so naturally I was interested in how to help people have an effective small group. Pastor William Boekestein, who wrote the article, has some great points about effective group study, but one that really rose to the surface for me was to keep the Bible first. Now this sounds like a given, but too often in our groups, we rely on the study material and use the Bible as extra credit work.
Scripture studies are almost always aided by a well-written guide. Some of the best guides are commentaries, especially those that began as a sermon series. Homiletical commentaries combine the best of careful exegesis and pastoral application.(1)One of the dangers, though, of using a study guide is that the Bible can become eclipsed by a lesser book. It is easy to subconsciously begin to treat the Bible as the “raw materials” and the study guide as the “finished product,” favoring the latter.To avoid misusing supplemental materials, make them the last part of your preparation for the group study. First, work through the scripture passage in focus. Ask questions about the text. Note observations and applications. Use the study questions to stimulate thought before turning to the “answers” in the commentary. In this way the commentary becomes a sounding board for your ideas and conclusions rather than a source book. The Bereans took such an approach. They “…received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11).A related principle is that group discussions should be guided by Scripture not by personal opinion. This does not mean that a question or comment is inappropriate just because it is an opinion. It does mean that conclusions that are reached and counsel that is given should be biblically based.
Much of the curriculum we produce has been used as sermon material that was preached in the pastors church:
- Weird and The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel
- Guardrails and Taking Responsibility for Your Life by Andy Stanley
- The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson
- The Power of a Whisper and Just Walk Across the Room by Bill Hybels
- The Me I Want to Be by John Ortberg
- make sure everyone in your group brings a Bible to small group
- read all the recommended passages in the participant’s guides
- consider standing as you read Scripture as a reminder of the weight of it’s words
- before you share an opinion, know how you would back it up with Scripture
*Above I have linked the full first sessions for those curriculum. To see more full first sessions on YouTube, go to the curriculum playlist here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL592D0CEC3F56A982
All this week reviewers across the blogosphere will be posting their reviews of Tim Challies’ The Next Story: Life and Faith After the Digital Explosion. Check out the review links below and follow me on Twitter to follow the discussion.
The Next Story Blog Tour:
Anxious for Nothing - Is there such a thing as too much information?
Living Hope - “One of the most important books you need to read right now.”
Changed by the Gospel - “I do NOT think you should read this book if you are not willing to give some serious thought about how technology is affecting your life.”
Delving into the Scriptures -”Technology changes society in a way that cannot be undone.”
Wick I AM - “I plan on reading portions of this book again, and recommending it to others.”
The Squirrel Factor
Beggar to Beggar -”The best part about this book is that it doesn’t leave you in a state of technological conviction. Instead it gives you several helpful approaches to engage you and your family and help navigate the seas of seemingly endless technological options.”
The Biblical Bookshelf
All Things Considered – (Love this blog name! And the similarly named NPR program. – AR)
The Blog of Doug Hibbard
The Hankins Family
Lux Lucet En Tenebris -” The latest and greatest will not give us joy, peace, security, happiness and often times it steal it away.”
Gleanings of Wheat -(This blogger actually blogged through the whole book. This link is her wrap up with links to other posts. Wow! -AR)
Bring the Books
Kevin Fiske [For the Gospel]
Against Nothingness -“3.5 Stars. Worth reading.” (Don’t miss this challenging review! -AR)
Simul Iustus Et Peccator -”A must-read…”
The Hurricane Report -”made it required reading for the kids at my house this summer.”
The Lens of Truth
Theology for the Road
Tim Challies’ newest book, The Next Story, is a compelling read about “life and faith after the digital explosion.” It’s a book that asks the question, “Do you own technology or does technology own you?” I don’t say it’s “compelling” just because I’m a marketer, but because I’m truly intrigued by the above question. All day I work on email, surf the web, communicate with people on Facebook, write blogs, etc. etc. etc. - is all of this digital interaction changing me without my realizing? Is there a way to live a wiser Christian life amid all this ones and zeroes?
And what will the digital world be like for my kids? Their lives will undoubtedly be even more laden with technology than mine – what should I be thinking about now in order to raise them up to be wise Christians online in the future?
For the blog tour please
sign up here. Sorry! This blog tour sign up is now closed!
The Blog Tour will be May 30 – June 3rd.
BibleDude.net has a couple of great reviews up right now: 1) A series of posts on John Sowers’ Fatherless Generation. 2) He also has a new review up of my favorite book on the Lewis and the boys: The Inklings of Oxford. Thanks for the support BibleDude!
Tim Challies visited Z last week. His book, The Next Story, just released. You can listen to a podcast he recorded while he was here, and read about a discussion we had regarding “grocery stores and mind control” on Mason’s site.
Finally, the Gospel Coalition Conference is coming up next week. On Monday I’ll be posting what’s Z has going on during the show. Below is a video of DA Carson and Tim Keller discussing the conference. Are you going?
Are you surrounded by technology? Is your desk, dashboard, and bedroom side table covered with devices?
Do you spend hours a day online consuming media? Have you ever wondered is all of this changing me somehow?
(I sure have.)
Tim Challies asks questions like that in The Next Story and provides a discerning, biblically-based way to think through these issues.
I resonate with this book so much, in part, because I’m a parent. Perhaps you feel the same way?