I received this book as a review copy from Crossway Publishers. And, honestly, I was hesitant to read it.
Books that are women-centric in the genre of “Christian Living” or even “Bible Study” make me nervous. Too often I have found them to be lacking in solid theology–lacking in wrestling with foundation questions–who is God? What is prayer? What happened on the cross? What about theodicy? What about grace?
Or sometimes these things are addressed, but in a way that tends to water-down both the explanations and the applications, and instead provide well-worn cliches and “feel-good” sentiments.
I suppose that is harsh. And, I realize that I am making that very judgmental statement based only on what I have personally read. But, I also think that I am not far off.
Those (admittedly, over-simplified) generalizations are not true for Wilkin’s book.
While it did not dig nearly as deep as I would have preferred, it was an excellent start. And, sometimes, a start is what is most desperately needed.
I would take this book and be completely comfortable walking a newish (or even a long-term) Christ-follower through it, to help give them a good, solid introduction to Bible study that goes beyond “feelings” to the mind. This is good stuff.
For me, personally, the chapter titled “Study with Patience” hit home. Particularly her point on having patience with yourself. Maybe not along the same lines as Wilkin refers to–I do not expect instant gratification or instant knowledge in studying scripture–but patience with myself when I just don’t get it. Or when I get nothing from the scripture work that I do. I was harsh on fluff writers for women above; I can be a bit harsh with myself as well.
So, I am grateful for this book. In fact, we are looking toward using it this fall with the women of our church, who are in need of the practical applications in this book, and the instruction and gentle prodding away from “feel-good, warm-fuzzy, emotional ‘Bible’ studies.”