Sometimes, we get ourselves into the situation as Christians, where we’re not actually reading the Bible. We might be doing a Bible study, reading a devotional or reading a book about the Bible, but we’re not sure how to approach the Bible ourselves. That is a weakness that Charles Swindoll attempts to address in his new book, Searching the Scriptures: Find the Nourishment Your Soul Needs.
In this book, Swindoll compares reading and studying your Bible to preparing a meal. First, you have to understand the basic story of the Bible and then you have to realize how important the nourishment is to us. For example, Swindoll says:
A quick glance at a verse or two on the way out the door doesn’t give us long-term growth or satisfaction. Our spiritual food needs to be carefully prepared so it will sustain us and refresh us and satisfy the deepest longings of our souls.
He then spends time explaining why we need that nourishment and what a nourished and reasoned faith brings to our lives.
Stage two of this book is where the real “meat” of the book lies. In these chapters, Swindoll begins explaining how to pursue scripture. He offers a method of study based on observation, interpretation, correlation, and application that he further explains by devoting a chapter to each part of his method. And lest you think its all theory, the end of each chapter in this book contains practical applied study assignments where you get to practice each step of these study methods.
The final stage of this book is entitled serving the feast, and in this section, we prepare to dig into God’s word, learn where we fit into the study and we present the truth. He goes through each of these methods with some examples of scripture and shows how we can apply these methods to make a thorough knowledge of scripture and how it applies to our lives.
I found this to be an interesting and exciting book because it places tools into people’s hands. It gives a simple, approachable and systematic method for reading through the Bible and interpreting and applying it to ourselves and the world around us. There are things I disagree with (like his use of the NLT as a readable translation), but on the whole, I found this to be an excellent book, and an excellent way to pass on his study skills and ideas for sermon preparation onto a new generation.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.