A Young Woman’s Guide to Discovering Her Bible by Elizabeth George

youngwomansbible Let me just say at the outset that you really can’t go wrong with anything by  Elizabeth George. For years her many books such as Loving God with All Your Mind, Woman After God’s Own Heart and more have been bestsellers, and personal favorites of two of the three ladies of lit.

Younger ladies of lit have been able to enjoy and be taught by Mrs. George  in recent years, as she now writes books for both teens and tweens. Wait, do we still say tweens? With titles like A Girl After God’s Own Heart for ages 8 to 12 and A Young Woman After God’s Own Heart for ages 13 and up, ladies of all ages can learn and apply the biblical truths on the same topics of faith as their moms and older sisters.

Elizabeth George handles these younger age groups in a way I really appreciate.  While many adult authors are trying, sometimes obviously too hard, to win over their readers with slang and a multitude of cultural references, Mrs. George avoids that.  This in no way makes her books boring or difficult for younger girls and women to relate to.  She comes across like your cool aunt, not the one with pink hair that lets you play in her makeup but the cool aunt that makes you feel like a grown up by listening and talking to you like you’re a grown up. Or maybe that teacher you had in high school that made you feel like finally, an adult understood you.

In A Young Woman’s Guide to Discovering Her Bible teens will learn in practical ways that the Bible is relevant to their concerns and problems today, is unchanging and best of all, not as hard to study as they might think!  They will discover the different types of literature that make up the Bible, and the study methods of:

  • observation,
  • context,
  • cross referencing scripture,
  • consultation (using study helps),
  • conclusion
  • And application.

Using the backdrop of stories from the lives of women in scripture, she weaves the how-to of inductive study methods with the take home lessons that will help a young woman grown in godly character and faith. 20150504_161823The last few chapters focus on following after God’s heart, walking in the Spirit, and becoming more like Jesus.  The last chapter was pretty meaty stuff, but well tenderized and easy to take in. In it she focuses on Jesus and gives “Bible 101” descriptions of prophecy, apocalyptic literature, and eschatology, leaving the girls looking forward to His return!

Mrs. George (who I’m sure would tell me to call her Elizabeth but that would be weird. I might curtsy if I met her, she’s sort of a hero) includes an appendix with a helpful overview of terms and techniques learned in the book, and a brief list of helpful study tools. The book concludes with a one year reading plan and quiet time calendar.

If a young woman likes to read at all, she will find this an easy read with not too much to get through in a sitting. If she doesn’t enjoy reading or struggles with it, this is a great book to do with a mentor or mom.  As the chapters go on the emphasis becomes a little heavier on the question/answer format, to help strengthen the inductive study skills by repetition. Great for one on one discipleship or a group study, or just a summer read, this book will definitely be A Young Woman’s Guide to Discovering Her Bible.

Truth Matters: Confident Faith In a Confusing World by Kostenberger, Bock & Chatraw

9781433682261Every Fall a new group of Christian kids head off to college.  For some, it will be a time of faith building and growth.  For others, it can be a time of confusion and even spiritual shipwreck. We hear statistics every year of the growing number of students that leave their faith behind once they’re in college.  Sometimes it’s the challenge of questions they have about their own faith as they enter this new season of life, or it’s dealing with challenges to their beliefs by professors and other students. How can a student be equipped to deal with world views they’ve never encountered and philosophies they’ve never heard of?   How can they stand firm in their beliefs?

Knowing the questions college students have and the challenges they face, the authors of Truth Matters tackle head on the topics and arguments that can derail a student.  This is a book, as the authors say in the preface, about God and His truth in a changing world and shifting culture. They weigh the arguments against Christianity put forth by scholars like Bart Ehrman from both a biblical and logical standpoint, and address questions like:

  • Is God there? Does He care?
  • Who picked the books of the Bible and why are they there?
  • Are there contradictions and mistakes in the Bible?
  • How can copies be the same as the real thing?
  • Who decided what Christianity was made of?
  • How do we know Jesus rose from the dead?

Much of the positions against Christianity come from Ehrmann, and sections of his popular books are used as the worldview a student is likely to encounter. In one sense, this book is a challenging read, because the format is very much centered on developing critical thinking skills. This isn’t Top Ten Scriptures to Silence Your Professor, this book presents the arguments against Christianity the way a student can expect to experience them at the college level and answer them in a biblical and skilled way.

Whether it’s questions, objections or doubts they have themselves, or they hear from others, the Christian student can find solid, well reasoned answers in a book that makes it clear that Truth Matters.