Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Book Review: Gospel-Centered Teaching: Showing Christ in All the Scripture (2013)

Gospel-Centered Teaching: 
Showing Christ in All the Scripture (2013) 
by Trevin Wax

I bought this valuable book from the Hill Book Fair for only RM3. It is a short little book and easy to read but worth all the effort. Trevin Wax, managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, has written easy-to-understand guide to what it means to be focused on Christ in our teaching. The apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3 that Jesus is the foundation of the church and we must take care how we build upon this foundation. As Bible teacher, I’m concerned that every sharing and Bible Study must be founded in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe that it’s Jesus who changes lives, and the goal of our Bible Study is to continually reintroduce people to him.

I was challenged when I read the first chapter when the author writes that the biggest problem with Christians today is Biblical literacy. “It’s an epidemic,” he said. I understand this issue very well. He also points out another issue, namely, that we have “a closed-off group of biblical junkies who view Bible Study as their ‘fix’ for the week.” And sometime we can have “people who can win a game of Bible trivia, but who don’t look very much like Jesus.” We want to ‘go deeper’ we said but that also is not the answer, for the demons “got their theology down (James 2), but are devils still.” The question is not so much of “What’s missing?” (though methods and problem solving are important) but rather the question is – “Who’s missing?” The answer, of course, is Jesus. When we ask the right question, “Who’s missing?” from our sharing/teaching, we’ll embark on a quest to find Jesus in all the Scripture.

As I prepare Bible studies in the future (and you too), I ought to ask myself these 3 questions by Travin Wax: #1 How does this topic or passage fit into the Big Story of Scripture?; #2 What is distinctively Christian about the way I am addressing this topic or passage?; and #3 How does this truth equip God’s church to live on mission? If I can answer these questions rightly, I can be sure that I’m teaching a Gospel-centered teaching and Christ-focused Bible Study. I recommend this book to every preacher, small group leader, Sunday school facilitator and Bible Study teacher. This book is an excellent guide for us to understand how to teach the Bible with Christ as our focus, the gospel as our centre and the entire Bible as one big story about Jesus.

This book is divided into 5 chapters:
  1. Something’s Missing
  2. Back to Basics
  3. Connect the Dots and Tell the Story
  4. Ground Your Application in the Gospel
  5. Overflow with Passion for God’s Mission

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