May 26, 2018
When I requested the CSB Worldview Study Bible from BHBloggers, I wasn’t sure how the worldview theme/ focus would be handled. After receiving my copy, which Lifeway kindly sent me to review, I still wasn’t sure. The articles seem to go on a bit, but I did find helpful clues.
The Introduction, for example, offered this insight:
“In the book of Job, we see how a false worldview results in false comfort." As Job went through terrible trials and suffering, his well-meaning friends “accused Job of having sinned. The friends shared a worldview that said, ‘Everything happens because of cause and effect. Do bad things, and bad things will happen to you. Do good things, and good things will happen to you.’ This worldview was the lens through which they viewed Job’s suffering. The book of Job challenges this perspective in light of an all-powerful, all-wise God who permits things to happen that are beyond our understanding.”
Another helpful example of intent in the Introduction considers Ecclesiastes where the worldview was “a life without meaning and purpose in the face of death.” And so the author “wrote a book that helps us understand the mind-set and worldview of someone who lives as though this life is all there is.”
Scanning the articles interspersed throughout this edition reveals theological and philosophical views expressed over the ages. The content of those articles and their placement between portions of scripture make the book most appropriate for reading and studying alone, unless, of course, your group aims to discuss religion and philosophy from a world view. For those of you who live in cosmopolitan areas where people come from all sorts of cultural and religious backgrounds, this edition should be well-suited to your goal of reaching others for Christ.
For example, the article “Speaking To A Non-Christian About Jesus” says,
“Knowledge of the background, culture, and worldview of one’s audience assists Christians in meaningfully sharing about Christ. Demographics are changing and peoples from all over the world are now neighbors to evangelical churches across America, especially in the larger urban centers. Christians, therefore, must increase their ‘CIQ’ - Cultural Intelligence Quotient - in order to successfully and meaningfully share Jesus with others.”
The article goes on to say, “Paul adapted his method of sharing Christ with unbelievers based on the audience.” Furthermore, “Sharing Christ in today’s world involves understanding the worldview of the people we are seeking to reach.”
Knowing scripture and what we believe are prerequisites for comfortably and accurately talking to others about Christ. If you haven’t yet read the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) text chosen for this edition, I highly recommend it. In fact, the CSB Study Bible is one of my all-time favorite study Bibles.
To give you a glimpse of its readable, accurate text, let’s look at Psalm 1, which could become a motif for this present edition:
“How happy is the one who does not
walk in the advice of the wicked
or stand in the pathway with sinners
or sit in the company of mockers!
Instead, his delight is in the
and he meditates on it day and night.”
May God help us to receive His Word, instruction, and love more fully and show us how to extend that forgiving, redeeming love to others in Jesus’ Name.
Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2018
CSB Worldview Study Bible, leatherflex
April 17, 2018
Some people refer to incredible timing as a coincidence, but I find God-incidence much more plausible and easier to believe! God is with us. God cares about our lives. And God knew when my son would be ready to unpack a dozen heavy boxes of books kept in storage for over seven years.
Most of those books came from his religious studies at Stetson, Vanderbilt, and Marquette, providing a range of perspectives in theology I wanted to know more about but feared were over my head! And then “suddenly” I received an email from Crossway, announcing the availability of an advance reader copy of Biblical and Theological Studies: A Student’s Guide to review.
Not only did the title appeal to me, the purpose stated at the topic of the cover challenged me: “Reclaiming The Christian Intellectual Tradition.” What a great idea!
We’re not dumb! But when it comes to theological premises, we (at least, I) might be ignorant. So, before tackling two or three huge boxes of texts on the topic, I dove into this study guide by Michael J. Wilkins and Erik Thoennes, who apparently knew I needed something accessible, conversational, concise and to the point (without tangents), making what could be difficult concepts understandable to me and, undoubtedly, to you.
In the Introduction, for example, we read:
“God has spoken. This whole book is about those three simple words. That God has personally, truthfully, and sufficiently revealed himself in the Bible is the assumption of our understanding of the study of the Bible….”
“Biblical studies is an academic discipline that seeks to understand the Bible as God intended when he inspired its human authors. The study of theology is the effort to summarize the overall teaching of the Bible so it can be meaningfully applied to our lives.”
This practical application begins with our need to focus on what God emphasizes, rather than what we think or expect. As the authors point out:
“Your basic beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes will determine how you approach your quest for truth. How you define God, humans, and the purpose of life will shape your experience in learning and also determine your methods of learning.”
With “theo” referring to God and “ology” to the study of, our theology will be based on who we believe God is and how we read God’s Word to us in scripture. Hopefully, we’ll read the Bible with humility, prayer, awe, praise, worship, and prayerful dependence on the Holy Spirit to enlighten us and guide our understanding.
The back of the book contains a glossary, additional resources, and “Questions For Reflection” that will help us to focus on God as revealed in the Bible and, perhaps, even redirect our thinking, especially if our fears, prejudices, or opinions, which began in childhood, haven’t been updated into an adult view of the Christian faith and our Father in Heaven.
As the authors state: “Both the purity and unity of the church are at stake in this matter.”
Why? We ARE the church! Before we draw others to Christ or minister accurately, lovingly, and well in His name, we need to settle within ourself our beliefs from a prayerful, biblical point of view. This book will help us to do that as we reclaim Christian intellectual traditions for ourselves and the church Body of Christ – so in need of truths meant to heal, embrace, and unite us in Jesus' Name.
Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2018, poet-writer, reviewer
Biblical and Theological Studies: A Student’s Guide