Book Review - How To Get The Most From God's Word
For a book that seems to indicate it will help the reader learn how to study God's Word, How To Get The Most From God's Word contains very little teaching on that subject. That is not to say, though, that it is not an excellent book. I read this book in the hopes that it would coach me on methods for more fulfilling Bible study. It turns out, though, that the bulk of this book is dedicated to why I should study the Bible with only minimal emphasis on how I should study it. Though at first I was disappointed, I came to see that this book is full of truth and may be one of the best books I have read about truly understanding the Bible. I have little doubt that the emphasis on what the Bible is will prove more valuable to me than a book filled with advice on how to study Scripture.
First I am going to state my complaints with this book. Primarily, I felt the title misleading. The book seems to say it is a "how" book but in reality is more of a "why" book. Second, it seems that the book's publication coincided with the publication of The MacArthur Study Bible and How To Get The Most From God's Word sometimes seems to be little more than an advertisement for it. There are at least 12 references to The MacArthur Study Bible and that not-so-subtle advertising cheapens the book, making it feel more than a little self-serving.
Complaints aside, this book speaks of some awesome truths about God's Word. The author evidently believes that the Bible can only be truly appreciated when the reader understands its value, beauty and necessity. To that end he first explains how and why we can trust the Bible. He speaks about the Bible's origins and inspiration and how we can have comfort in the fact that the Bible is true. He then turns to an exploration of what the Bible can do for us. He shows that it can change us, make us free, reveal God's will, help us grow spiritually and prepare us for spiritual battle. Building on this foundation, the final section, which unfortunately is only a few pages long, provides practical tips for studying the Bible.
The highlight of this book is the chapter on spiritual warfare. Through a careful exposition of Paul's teaching about the sword of the Spirit in Ephesians 6, MacArthur shows the power and necessity of the Bible in defeating Satan. He shows that it is not only a defensive weapon, but also an offensive weapon - the only offensive weapon in our arsenal. Another important section is the one dealing with proper Biblical interpretation. The author's teachings about how not to interpret the Bible are important today when so many Christian teachers are using the Bible in any way they want with little regard to its true meaning and with even less regard for proper methodology.
This book left me with a greater appreciation of the Bible and certainly with a greater love for it. The author's long list of reasons for why I should love it, study it and rely on it left me with a greater understanding of the priceless treasure God has given us in His Word. I highly recommend this book.