Family Bible Reading Book Review

{Thanks to Sally J. in the UK for our post today.}

Fundamental to our understanding of God’s word are two doctrines which set us apart from mainstream Christianity and which are of enormous importance.  The first is that we bear a nature which is inherently sinful, which left to its own devices is deceitful, selfish and willful.  (By contrast, mainstream Christianity – and most other religions – put it that, at worst, there is a good and a bad side to us, and at best, that our souls will go to heaven in the end because, unless overtly criminal, we’re essentially good).  The second is that the Bible is God’s inspired Word; that it is His chosen means of communicating to us His purpose and His will and that it has a transforming power for the one that will attune his or her mind to it.

These are not philosophical notions to be accepted and acknowledged and then left to one side whilst we somehow get on with being disciples.  They are life-saving truths if only we will grasp their practical outworking.  If we accept and understand these two doctrines together, does it not logically and practically follow that these truths will be lived out by doing our utmost to read and understand God’s Word so that the awful nature that we bear – the mind of the flesh – might, little by little, be diminished and the mind of the spirit made stronger?  Does it not logically and practically follow that we will want to encourage those who come within our influence and responsibility to do the same?

This was the motivation behind the little booklet “Family Bible Reading”.  As disciples of the Lord Jesus, it is our deepest desire that we might be like him in thought, in word and in deed.  Character development begins with the way that we think.  Our minds need shaping and moulding to be like his, and we know that his was not somehow innate either: he too bore our nature and he too had to learn and develop a spiritual mindset.  We get a tiny glimpse of how this was achieved in Isaiah 50:4 – “He awakens me morning by morning, He awakens my ear to hear as the learned” [= “they that are taught”].  If God so deemed it necessary for His beloved Son, how much more should we make it our highest and most pressing priority to ensure that our own children are taught to read, know and love God’s Word?

It’s not easy, though, is it?  Life is so full and other “priorities” crowd out our good intentions.  “Family Bible Reading” has been written with full knowledge and experience of this challenge!  The idea of the booklet is to give families not only lots of encouragement to get reading but also lots of ideas as to how to make it work for whatever your situation, age of children or tricky part of Scripture that you are trying to make accessible for younger minds.  It is no good, after all, just “doing the readings” in some draconian, heavy-handed manner.  It must be done firmly, yes, but gently, wisely, looking all the time for ways to coax into our children a love for God’s Word, that they might learn to see it as we yearn for them to do: as the light to their feet, the lamp to their path; an anchor for their soul; a rock and a refuge; springs of living water.  May this little book help you in this endeavour.

Family Bible Reading” is available at the following sources:

The Christadelphian Office: www.thechristadelphian.com/shop/books/bible-companions-instructors/family-bible-reading/ (England)

Thousand Oak Library: http://christadelphianlibrary.com/ (USA)

Christadelphian Scriptural Study Service: http://www.csss.org.au/childrens-books-en/ (AUS)

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