Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Review: The Most Important Thing You'll Ever Study

"Your hands have made me and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn your commandments" (Psalm 119:73, ESV).

Most Important Thing You'll Ever Study: A Survey of the Bible (vols. 1-4 and Answer Key)

A few weeks ago, Crossway sent me a rather large package. I opened it to reveal a set of Starr Meade's The Most Important Thing You'll Ever Study: A Survey of the Bible. I was excited because this meant that we would have a set of this excellent resource to share with a friend, as we already had a personal copy.

When these books first came out, my daughter and I (age 7) were reading Acts together. We decided to use these guides as we read and found it a rich and rewarding experience. One of the things that I most appreciate about The Most Important Thing You'll Ever Study is that the four volumes are organized chronologically (the fifth volume is an answer key). As we read through the book of Acts, Meade guided us to read the Epistles in the context of early church history. It was very insightful to read the Epistles alongside Acts, and it helped to add depth to our understanding of God's Word. Doing so with these study guides helped us to pause and reflect in a way that we had not previously done.

As I was preparing to write this review, I was finishing up my reading in the Old Testament: Ezra-Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. I decided to use The Most Important Thing You'll Ever Study as a guide so that I could share a recent experience with it. Although I have read the Bible chronologically for a number of years, I found Meade's survey a helpful asset for a number of reasons. Just as before, I found myself pausing to reflect on things that I had simply read hastily in the past. The result was a much more meaningful interaction with God's Word.

Meade does an excellent job of communicating why it is important to study God's Word, taking adequate time to reflect and meditate. She shows how all of Scripture is really one big story about how God redeems a people for Himself through Christ. She lets Scripture speak for itself yet adds short commentary to bring clarity where appropriate while remaining faithful to the Biblical text. Additionally, she has a gift for making doctrinal concepts easier for young people to understand and does so masterfully in these books.

May God use this resource to help people of all ages give themselves to the reading of the word of God, and to meditation on it…
"not the simple reading of the word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts," as George Mueller has said: "for this is the first and great and primary business to which I ought to attend every have my soul happy in the Lord" (as quoted by John Piper in When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight for Joy, pg. 119).

You and your family can try this resource and see if it serves you as well. Westminster has a sample of the Introductory Info., Genesis, Psalms, Luke, and Romans! Enjoy!

*Many thanks to Crossway for sending me a complimentary copy of these books in exchange for my honest opinion!

1 comment:

Trisha said...

I am so jealous!! :)

Truly, I'm glad you got that fat package....this has been on my list, and it's great to see your review. I'll be adding it to this year's reads.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!