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Review Questions and Study Guides

As I continue to press on with writing The Discipline of Discernment and as I see the book starting to come together I am slowly beginning to consider some of the finer details. For example, I have decided to add a “Key Thought” to the end of each chapter. I always appreciate when authors are deliberate about ensuring that the reader has understood the purpose of each chapter (Bryan Chapell’s Praying Backwards is an excellent example of this) and that the reader understands the flow of the book (and I think Alex Chediak’s With One Voice does an admirable job in this regard). Because my argument builds from chapter-to-chapter I feel it is important that people understand each of the components and that they remember what has already been covered. Other details may include whether there will be an index, a Scripture index, and so on.

Another item I am considering is study questions or application questions. This would be a short list of five or ten questions at the end of each chapter that would allow people to think about the topic and begin to apply it to their lives. However, I am not convinced that such a guide would be worth the effort. I will, to my shame, admit that when I read a book it is very rare that I pause at the study questions. I would not be surprised to learn that most other people also pass over them.

And so I thought I would take this public. This is not to say that I will necessarily base my decision on the consensus view here, but more that I am simply interested in learning about your reading habits. And thus I ask: Do you read the study guides or application questions in the books you read? Do you consider the questions and answer them, or do you simply pass over them and move to the next chapter?


  • The Kindness of God

    God’s Goodness in a Cruel World

    There is much to love and appreciate about our God, much for which we ought to give him praise and thanks. One of the attributes we may consider too seldom is his goodness, and as an aspect or component of his goodness, his kindness. And that is the subject of

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    A La Carte (February 23)

    A La Carte: Order, preparation, and the Spirit’s leading / Desecration at St. Patrick’s Cathedral / Why did God stigmatize the disabled? / Who would I be if I was happy? / 7 parenting errors that can influence adult children to leave the faith / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 22)

    A La Carte: Ice, wind, and unanswered prayers / Was it all a waste? / Prepping for the impending apocalypse / The best analogy for the Trinity / Getting to stop by woods on a snowy evening / Bible translation and AI / and more.

  • Like an iPhone

    Like an iPhone, Only Much More So

    Can I confess something to you? There’s one thing Aileen does that really bugs me. We will be talking together and enjoying one another’s company. But then, as we chat, I’ll hear the telltale buzz of her phone. And I can tell that I’ve lost her. I can see it in the look on her…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 21)

    A La Carte: When cultural tailwinds become cultural headwinds / Talking with kids about gender issues / Try to be more awkward / Life is more than mountaintop experiences / Tinder / Unpacking “separation of church and state” / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.