Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book review: David Helm- One to one bible reading

One to One Bible Reading: a simple guide for every Christian
David Helm
Buy at Matthias media

In One to One Bible Reading, David Helm aims to equip Christians to fruitfully read the bible with another Christian or with an interested non-Christian.

It is quite a short book- the body of the book is less than 80 pages long so could be read in a sitting or two by most people. It is enough to get you started at successfully reading the bible with someone without getting unnecessarily bogged down in theory.

I appreciated the encouragement that any Christian is capable of doing this and the good advice on how to make time reading the bible with someone else fruitful. The advice takes the form of practical tips like how not to dominate the discussion or how to prepare for a meeting and of outlines for how to structure a study. They provide broad frameworks for approaching passages as well as questions that might be helpful in understanding each of the different biblical genres. I haven’t used the frameworks they suggest extensively in a one to one bible reading setting however they look solid and helpful. There is some useful photocopyable worksheets in the back of the book for one of the frameworks.

Even if reading the bible with one other person is not the approach you choose to take, there is still things to learn from this book. The advice about how to work through a biblical text is solid and would be useful in any form of group or personal bible study. I think I might start using some of the questions in my personal bible study.

I can attest that the ideas in this book work. The ministry I help lead has been encouraging one to one bible reading for some time. Earlier this year over the course of a few months I got together with someone to read some of the Old Testament minor prophets. I found that I learned a lot more by reading and discussing with someone else than I did by just reading on my own. Others in our ministry have been involved in fruitful bible reading partnerships with non-Christians. I’m really glad that the author has put together this book as it will make training more people to read the bible with others so much easier.

I will definitely be recommending that our ministry use this book. I’d likewise recommend it to any Christian who is interested in discipline other Christians or introducing non-Christian friends to what the bible has to say.

Review copy courtesy of Matthias Media.