As a Christian I believe in supporting the good rather than complaining about the bad (Philippians 4:8). That's why I am not going to waste your time telling you how I HATE fluffy condescending Bible class material for women and teens.
Recently I got a copy (for free in exchange for my honest review) of the "The God Who Sees" by J.A. Busick. This is the second of her books I have reviewed.
Ms. Busick writes as a teacher in the trenches. What I mean is that the material in her books has ran the gauntlet of actual teenagers both her own and those in her Bible class. In my own life I call teaching and writing the same lesson "double-dipping". I imagine student-insight enriches her writing as much as mine.
She also writes as a careful Bible student. "The God Who Sees" is divided into five sections each dealing with a time period from the Bible. Yet in each, rather than drawing a big theological picture, Busick focuses on the private lives of two different women and their relationships to God and His covenant.
Yes and no. Yes, it was a challenging book because it is more detailed and technical than is often seen in the "sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll" lesson teens sometimes get or the "love yourself and everybody else too" lessons of some ladies' classes. For example, the lesson on Hagar covers the metaphor in Galatians about the sons of the two covenants. But no, it wasn't a challenging book because Busick reviews the life of each character in simple straightforward language and reminds the reader of the details of the time period being covered.
She also brings the reader both application and textual questions. The textual questions do a good job of reminding the students of the most important points and encourages them to examine the text independently. Application questions ask the student to work through the principle in relation to their own life.
I would highly recommend this book to several groups.
Teen Bible Classes: Although certainly one book could be used as a teacher's guide, at $7.99 it would be easy to purchase one for each member of the class to take home and use as a study guide. Depending on the speed with which you covered the material it could be a five, ten or fifteen week series.
Ladies Bible Classes: This book would be ideal for a mixed-age Bible class (Something I am a big fan of! We need to stop segregating our teens from their elder sisters. Helene steps off soap box). It would also be great for a class that included seekers and/or young Christians as well as for new or inexperienced teachers.
Homeschoolers: This could be nourishing Bible curriculum for homeschool parents with kids 6th grade and up. Simply assign the Bible reading associated with the two characters, then have them read the chapter and answer the questions. This would easily be ten weeks of excellent, self-directed learning.
Of course to be fair, I fit in none of the above catergories. Yet, I enjoyed the book very much. In fact, I am hard pressed to pick a favorite part. The take on Bathsheba was intriguing, and I wanted to cheer as I read the section on Martha's confession. So even if it is just you, don't hesitate to just grab a copy to read!
"The God Who Sees" does a great job with two hard things. First, it covers both "minor" Bible characters and major concepts. And second, it does it plainly in a book for women and teens. It's well worth the read!
I would love for you to hop over to Amazon and check out the giveaway going on right now! Ms. Busick is offering 3 books for free and all you need to do is follow her. Here's a link. The odds are 1 in 30 of winning and when all three books are given away the contest closes. So hurry!