Monday, June 29, 2020

John (Alabaster Guided Meditations) - A Review

(Alabaster Guided Meditations)

Edited by
Brian Chung and Bryan Ye-Chung

IVP has long had a history of creating Bible Study materials suitable for both individual and group studies. Though designed for individual study and devotions this new series of Bible Studies still remain useful for individual and group study.

The editors have combined Scripture, art (i.e. photographs), and meditations, to guide the reader to study, dig, understand, and apply scripture. The book contains the complete text of the New Living Translation - separated with pages of art work and meditations. I do not get as excited with the included art - occasionally the included black and white picture add some meaning to the associated passage, but not often enough to be helpful to this reader.

The meditations are helpful. Based around the historic lectio divina methodology of "Read, Reflect, Respond, and Rest". The 10 meditations each focus the reader's attention on a small section of scripture - for example, the first one centers on “The Wedding at Cana”. This meditation includes 19 questions or spiritual directions divided between each of the four phases of the lectio divina methodology. The questions are very open-ended - not demanding canned answers - but seeking thoughtful, personal, prayerful answers. The questions, on the surface, do not appear to be deep, but are written in such a way that the reader can dive as deep into their meaning as he or she desires.

I will note that though the retail version of the book does not appear to be available as an e-book, the PDF review copy I received was at times difficult to read because the light-colored backgrounds tended to obscure the non-Biblical text printed in white. Biblical text is printed with black ink on a white background.

The book, as mentioned earlier, would serve the individual’s study of scripture or for a small group. I was so impressed with the PDF version of the Bible Study that I have purchased two copies, for my wife and I, to study together in the evenings. Rarely do I purchase additional copies of books I have reviewed - this one is an exception. Thank you, IVP. 
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.

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