As many of you may know, I’m a Bible School graduate. I graduated from St. Louis Christian College in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Christian Ministry. In fact, I graduated magna cum laude with a 4.0 (it would have been summa cum laude, had I tranferred one less credit and taken it there) and was valedictorian of my class. That said, my course of study enabled me to solidify what it is that I believe in my faith, and to realize that what you believe drives everything you do. Many Christians will never complete a degree in Christian Ministry as I did. Which is why I would highly recommend two books I recently read, Believe and Think, Act, Be Like Jesus: Becoming a New Person in Christ.
About the books…
Believe is a unique spiritual growth journey that helps you to think, act, and be more like Jesus. In it, general editor and pastor Randy Frazee walks you through the ten key Beliefs of the Christian faith, the ten key Practices of a Jesus-follower, and the ten key Virtues that characterize someone who is becoming more like Jesus.
Each chapter uses short topical passages from the New International Version to help you live the story of the Bible. As you journey through this book, whether in a group or on your own, one simple truth will become undeniably clear: what you believe drives everything. Using this edition of Believe, church families around the globe can now embrace a full ministry year through worship services, small group studies, and family activities.
In Think, Act, Be Like Jesus: Becoming a New Person in Christ, pastor Randy Frazee helps readers grasp the vision of the Christian life and get started on the journey of discipleship. This book is a fresh resource for discipleship by pastor and author Randy Frazee that will help readers develop a personal vision for spiritual growth and a simple plan for getting started on the journey to think, act, and be more like Jesus Christ.
Believe is broken down into three sections:
- Think: What Do I Believe?, which explores the core beliefs of the Christian.
- Act: What Should I Do?, which explores the core practices of the Christian.
- Be: Who Am I Becoming?, which explores the core virtues of the Christian.
Each section is subdivided into ten chapters. Each chapter has a key idea and a key verse, then takes the reader on a guided tour of that idea using Scripture (NIV) within the text, as well as explanation of the passages included with editorial comments. The explanation and editorial comments are denoted by italicized print. While each passage of Scripture used within the chapters lists the book, chapter, and verse, there is also a “Chart of References” at the back of the book that lists them. Discussion questions are also included at the end of the book.
Overall, I really appreciated Believe. As a topical guide through the Bible, this book does well to help believers solidify what they believe and why they believe it. Stylistically, I would have preferred that the Scripture be italicized and the commentary be non-italicized. Of course, that’s just a personal preference. I would have also preferred the discussion questions be listed at the end of each chapter, instead of at the back of the book, as I think it would better aid in using the book for personal devotions.
Think, Act, Be Like Jesus: Becoming a New Person in Christ is a companion book to Believe. It follows the outline of Believe, with the Think, Act, Be sections which are subdivided into chapters. It also includes a Transformation section, which is not in the Believe book. The introduction starts with a “confession of unbelief” which automatically puts the reader on even footing with the author. We all struggle in our journey of belief, and the author’s vulnerability helps the reader embrace that struggle. Stylistically, in this book, the portions of Scripture are italicized while portions of commentary are not. The book is 256 pages and it guides the reader on a journey of grown in thought, actions, and character. While it was written as a companion to Believe, Think, Act, Be Like Jesus: Becoming a New Person in Christ can certainly alone as a study.
I would definitely recommend both Believe and Think, Act, Be Like Jesus: Becoming a New Person in Christ for the Christian who wants to deepen their relationship with Christ! I think it would make a great Easter gift for the new believer, or even those who have been Christians for a long time and just want to get back to the heart of their faith. I plan to gift a set to one of our youth. Both are available on Amazon and at local retailers.