Saturday, September 17, 2016
Multiply by Francis Chan (Book Review #46 of 2016)
I did not go through the study guide or spend much time on the study questions in this book; I did not do it with a group, I listened to all 24 sessions it on my own. Basically, I was determining whether it would be a good discipleship study, as it is designed to be; I think it is. Some people in my office went through the study as a group and found it good enough to meet around every week. It serves as an excellent foundations course for someone who is a new believer or someone looking to disciple a younger believer. The best part is that the lessons and videos are available for free online. This is my third Chan book (Crazy Love, Together Forever) and my wife is an avid fan of his sermons.
Discipleship is about life with disciples, not leadership or knowledge. It's about a visual demonstration of our faith. What evidence can you point to that shows you truly love others around you?
Following Jesus requires a change of heart, not a change of circumstances. Circumstances for believers around the world are difficult, they always have been. But people know Jesus' disciples by their love and unity in the midst of those circumsntaces, which is what Jesus prayed for (John 17).
Don't study the Bible out of guilt, or for sermon material, or for pride. Does my Bible study make me more "puffed up" with knowledge? Am I truly depending on the Holy Spirit when I read it?
At the same time, it's important to study the Bible logically. To learn to read it slowly, to understand historical context and hermeneutics. Chan works through several lessons through the Old Testament demonstrating biblical theology-- that the arc of all Scripture bends toward Jesus. He also walks through several of the covenants that are fulfilled in Jesus, a la D.A. Carson. "The greatest gift that God can give is Himself...that is the Tabernacle."
Chan reminds everyone what the mission of the Church is. It is hard not to desire to be a "Great Commission Christian" after working through this book; I would enjoy doing it as a group study.
I give it 4.5 stars out of 5. There may be something else better out there, but this is available in many formats, is free, and easy to get started.