Study Resources

I recently started running a young adults small group at my church (as part of my quest to become more of a leader). Right now it’s just four guys, but it’s open to both sexes. The last month we’ve been doing casual topical bible studies, but we want something more structured.

I’m brainstorming what to go through. Can any of my Christian readers recommend some good study resources or books I could use?

Nothing overtly Catholic or Orthodox; the materials need to be approved by an elder and one of the guys is very anti-Catholic.

Thanks.


15 responses to “Study Resources

  • Wintery Knight

    Best basic book on Christian apologetics is “Is God just a human invention?” By Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow.

  • AG

    The Institutes of Biblical Law Vol I.

  • zhai2nan2

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contra_Celsum

    full text is available for free at several websites

  • Leap of a Beta

    If you’re trying to span the gap between Catholicism and Protestantism, I would recommend CS Lewis. Sadly, I’m not familiar enough with his works to give a good place to start a study group, but have two quick essays you can use as a jump off point.

    From his Man or Rabbit? essay
    “All the rabbit in us is to disappear-the worried, conscientious, ethical rabbit as well as the cowardly and sensual rabbit. We shall bleed and squeal as the handfuls of fur come out; and then, surprisingly, we shall find underneath it a thing we have never yet imagined: a real Man, an ageless god, a son of God, strong, radiant, wise, beautiful, and drenched in joy.”

    You can find the essay here:

    Click to access man-or-rabbit.pdf

    To start I’d also recommend Weight of Glory to accompany Man or Rabbit

    I am trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each one of you—the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence; the secret
    also which pierces with such sweetness that when, in very intimate conversation, the mention of it becomes imminent, we grow awkward and affect to laugh at ourselves; the secret we cannot hide and cannot tell,
    though we desire to do both. We cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience. We cannot hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name..

    Click to access weight-of-glory.pdf

  • Liberatus

    Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. Great challenge for everyone.

  • Ev

    How does the elder review materials? Does he physically handle and inspect the texts, or do you just provide him with the title and author?

    Are you looking for strictly Biblical topics or for contemporary subjects not directly referred to in Scripture? What sort of topics have you already covered?

  • LiveFearless

    Contact Dean Odle. He’s in Alabama, but he’s the only Pastor in the U S that has materials that are appropriate for this purpose.

    And otherwise do a study on how concepts written by Victor Pride and Rollo Tomassi (The Rational Male) are clear thought the Bible.

    Is the church a 501c3? If so, get out. If you claim to follow the Bible you already know the Church isn’t a building with paid leaders or ‘elders’

    Most study groups related to the church want structure since it is more comfortable for most of them to live life like they’re living in a box.

    My industry is counting on it. Have fun with that. You already know about the work of the men I just mentioned. They’re a lot more like Jesus than any owned ‘Christian’ writer you can mention including John Eldredge. Seriously. Understand that the structured content has caused the rapid destruction of all values you claim to care about.

  • Alan J. Perrick

    If you’re interested in Anglo culture, why not something Anglican?

    A.J.P.

  • davejes1979

    If the group is up for something meaty, then go for something classic like Calvin’s (Abridged) Institutes. If you want something more modern then perhaps something like Horton’s Systematic Theology. Too many people are ignorant of systematic theology.

  • Free Northerner

    Thanks for the suggestions all. I’ll have to think on them.

    @ WK: I’d have to see if anybody was interested in apologetics.

    @ AG: I’m not sure theonomy would go over so well.

    @ zhai: Leave it to you to recommend the heretic. I don’t think that would go over so well either.

    @ Leap: Lewis; that would be a great idea. I’ve been meaning to read Mere Christianity for years. Those essays might work good for the next meeting if we don’t have other materials.

    @ Libertus: I went through that book years ago. Might be worth a shot.

    @ Ev: We just started; we’ve talked about creation and the unity of scripture. I’m not sure how deep he will go; it will likely depend on if he suspects something is off about it.

    I’m gonna have a standard meeting with my elder and pastor, so we’ll see more then.

    @ LF: Haven’t heard of Dean Odle, but his website seems a little Jack van Impish for my tastes. My church is a charitable organization and its a pretty good church, so I don’t plan on leaving for another evangelical church.

    I want structure because the lack of structure is making it difficult for me to lead, but I want to make sure i get something good.

    @ Alan: Other than Lewis, Chesterton, and Wright, I’m not too sure who the Anglicans to read would be. Then again, that would be an excellent list; Chesterton might be a good idea.

  • Leap of a Beta

    If you go with Lewis, let me know how it goes. I haven’t read more than those two essays since really becoming aware of the red pill and neoreaction, but I’m interested in how the average man would respond to Lewis

  • Free Northerner

    If I do, I’ll tell you how it goes.

  • The Primacy of Scripture | The Society of Phineas

    […] it is unfortunate, but yet not surprising that Free Northerner would ask for study resources himself and then get ten responses that don’t point back to Scripture. There are reasons that […]

  • Dominic

    Have you thought about a Bible Commentary? I use Expositor’s Bible Commentary, and I’ve heard people say the Matthew Henry Commentary is a good one also.

  • Tin Man

    Two books I found most interesting (background, I went to a Christian College) are…

    1) The Historical Jesus – interesting because it provides context what was going on at the time – and brings in the human aspects of “Christ the Man”

    2) The Pauline Doctrines – explores the influence the Apostle Paul had on the early Christian churches and how it moved things forward as a “religion”. Remember, Paul didn’t actually “know” the human Christ – he only had a vision – so it’s interesting how he moved it all forward.

    Both of those are interesting because traditional Christian teachings don’t necessarily go into those aspects. It’s hard to really understand the full struggle, and what really happened. We get taught the stories, almost like fairy tales, from a young age – and rarely delve into the context of “what was the world like” at the time.

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