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Using the Bible in Christian Ministry

Published by: Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd, London
RRP $45.00

This useful workbook is the third in a series from Cardiff University and Bible College. The introduction states: “…designed to help you learn about and reflect in depth on your own experience.” and is for ministers and leaders who are feeling the need for a refresher course on using the Bible.

Using the Bible in Christian Ministry is divided into fifteen work units with a final summary for self-evaluation, and each unit begins with a question to stimulate thought and discussion. To begin the work, there is a case study of a minister who feels he has become dry, predictable and safe.

This is an excellent starting point and the suggested outline which follows to plan a minister’s personal study is concise and well done. As the introduction says : “In planning, the skill will be in identifying those units that contribute to meeting your priorities.”  It is suggested that when completed a minister will be able to use the workbook as a group study for leaders. The units are practical, interesting and in clear straightforward language.

Following the question which introduces each unit, there is a case study to give a practical example and several activities to work through.  I liked the diversity of options outlined to encourage the readers to formulate their own answers.  At the end of each unit there is a list of further resources for extra reading and a further list of websites.

I found the unit dealing with difficult texts and the one on teaching children, more controversial than others; however, generally the different issues and pastoral contexts are explored well. Unit 1 recommends a way to look at the reader’s own training methods and encourages a creative approach, while the summing-up gives a tool for self-evaluation of the work and provides a way to move forward in learning, which I thought was valuable.

Reviewed by Joan Cook