Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Excellent Women's Bible Study Resource

Keri Folmar has again produced a women's bible study resource that leaves me very excited. After using and enjoying her first study on Philippians, Joy, I was eager to see her newest, Faith, which is a study of the book of James.

Faith is written for women, and is suitable for group or individual study. I think it would also work well as a tool for one-on-one mentoring. The book has material for ten weeks of study, with each week having five days of study. The sections are easily completed over the five-day period.

Faith is an inductive study, as opposed to a topical study. In the opening section, Keri defines inductive study:
Inductive study is reading the passage in context and asking questions of the text with the purpose of deriving the meaning and significance from the text itself.
This means we study the book as a whole, looking at its individual parts within the larger context. I personally find this the best method for study. The text is the focus, and the context is always kept in mind. That helps avoid the pitfalls of bunny trails that have nothing to do with the passage. 

Inductive study focuses on observation and interpretation before making application. Keri makes sure that the first two steps are thoroughly covered before attempting application. Application is a product of meaning, and to jump too quickly to application without discovering meaning could lead to ineffective or misguided application

The beauty of inductive study is that, ultimately, topics are covered as we progress through the book. In Faith, some of the issues touched upon were how to handle trials, taming unruly speech, showing partiality, prayer, worldliness, and the balance between faith and works. As with her study, Joy, Keri encourages the study at the beginning of each day to pray before studying, giving the student the crucial reminder that our understanding of Scripture comes from the Lord.

As a student, what I like best about this study is the encouragement to really think about the truths learned, to really evaluate how faith in my Christ is evidenced in my life on a day to day basis.  As a teacher, what I liked was the scope for rich study. A teacher has all she needs in this book for an excellent ten week study of James, but the application questions provide scope for deeper study, too, if a teacher so desires. 

It is not always easy to find bible study tools for women where it is clear that Christ, not ourselves is the subject matter. This study makes it very clear. Too often women's bible studies speculate or focus only on how we feel about Scripture. Faith focuses on understanding the meaning of Scripture itself, which will produce enduring growth.

I'm so glad to see solid materials for women being produced. What women need is to understand Scripture and meditate on its truths. This book will help us do that. I highly recommend this study.

No comments:

Post a Comment