A Life-Changing Encounter With God’s Word From The Book Of Titus, by The Navigators
This book is a good idea as far as Bible Study material is concerned . I must admit that one thing I would like to see a lot more of when it comes to Bible book reviews is good Bible study material. The reasons why are not hard to discern–it is far more enjoyable to read material that seeks to prompt my own thinking about the Bible and provide thoughtful context on it than it is to read what someone else who knows less about the Bible and follows it less has to say about it. This book is a relic of a day and age where it was more common than it is today to provide worthwhile material to serve as the raw material for group or individual Bible Studies as this book does on the book of Titus. Perhaps such days may come again and I may have more books like this one available to write reviews for. At any rate, I found this an immensely pleasing little book to read.
This is the sort of book that could be read either very quickly or very slowly, depending on the approach one took or the sort of people one was studying with. The book, and its series as a whole, has the goals of helping to provide a firm understanding of Titus and its context, applying its wisdom, and acquiring personal Bible study skills, all of which are useful aims. In terms of the book’s larger structure, it contains a guide on how to use the study, some background of Paul and Titus, a map and a timeline, and then eight lessons that go from overview to a look at the closing passages and review, followed by some study aids that show what sort of material the author most appreciates. Within each lesson there are comments from the editor, open-ended questions for study and reflection and application, and even some excellent material cited from other works that give a context to the issues faced by the Cretan church as well as all over the Roman Empire during the time when Titus was written in the 60s AD. By and large the authors show good taste in the way they approach this book, and the questions are often particularly spot-on. Even the books they suggest that others read show remarkably good taste.
I wouldn’t say that this book is life-changing to someone who is familiar with and fond of the pastoral epistles in general and Titus in particular. Nevertheless, the book is a very worthwhile and is certainly an easy book to appreciate. Someone who takes the questions seriously and examines and studies them, and especially someone who is able to gather what other people have to say to the questions, is likely to be able to get a new perspective and a greater appreciation for the book. And that is precisely the purpose of a book like this, to cause people to think about the Bible, to reflect on it, and to apply it to their own lives. If we do not do this with the scriptures than we are missing what is the most valuable and important about them, and Titus is a small enough book that one can take a particularly deep look at its contents in a modest size, as this book is modestly sized at less than 100 pages. If you can find a copy of this one available, it is definitely a worthwhile study to get, and likely one you will be able to appreciate and put to good use.
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