In a day and age when people take less and less time to read and study their Bibles, devotionals have become the de facto Bible study method for many. And most devotionals are simple snippets of Scripture and a brief thought for the day. But in Through the Bible, Through the Year, John Stott takes daily readings to a new level—challenging with theologically sound writings that are strung together with foresight and intent, with an end goal in mind.
What I like about Through the Bible is that it isn’t a collection of random inspirational thoughts, but is a series of short teachings that build on each other, to train the reader in the theology of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These comprise the three sections of the book, to be read in any order, but are timed to coincide with Christmas, Pentecost, and then life after Pentecost. The first section focuses on events beginning with creation and culminating with the birth of Christ, revealing the work of God the Father in the life of the nation of Israel. The second section covers Christ on earth through the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and reflects on the ministry of God the Son in the gospels. The third and final section walks through the book of Acts, the epistles, and the book of Revelation to discover the ongoing work of God the Holy Spirit.
Each day begins with a verse pulled from that day’s reading, and is followed by 2-3 paragraphs of insight from Stott explaining the significance of that portion of Scripture, and relating it back to the overall message of the Bible. These pieces are so readable, they’re almost conversational, yet packed with wisdom and not worthless platitudes. Each devotion then closes with Bible references for further reading.
Most churches today have moved away from a liturgical calendar, and preachers instead work through topics rather than exegetically. Stott has filled this systematic learning void with a worthy volume that every believer can benefit from. Highly recommended. – Anne Walker, Christian Book Previews.com
While many Christians are aware of and even adhere to the church calendar, few understand how it can enrich the way they read the Bible. Realizing this widespread need, respected preacher and scholar John Stott has assembled a new book that will guide readers through the Bible according to the church calendar.
Seeking to renew a Trinitarian approach to Scripture, Stott divides these daily reflections into three sections. From September to December, Stott focuses on how God the Father revealed himself in the Old Testament. From January through Pentecost, he focuses on the life of Christ in and through the Gospels. And between May and August, Stott looks at the Holy Spirit in Acts, the epistles, and Revelation.
Any Christian seeking to better understand the correlation between the calendar structure and the biblical story will be greatly enriched by this new material.