Monday, August 26, 2013

Beauty in the Heart- TOS Review

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Doorposts has released two new Bible Studies for teens ages 10-12 and older, or for younger kids with adult encouragement and help. We received a review copy of Beauty in the Heart.
This is an inductive Bible Study. What's that, you ask? Fundamentally, it is a term of logic that means interpreting scripture with no pre-judgment, from the text itself, through analyzing the evidence and drawing out of it logical conclusions. (definition from The Mountain Retreat).
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The purpose of this study is 2-fold:
1) To help the student grow in their understanding of Beauty
2) To help the student learn how to study the Bible.
Some of the Bible Study tools used in this study:
Comparing one passage of Scripture to another
Observe repeated words and themes in a passage
Outline the content of a passage
Gather all of Scripture's words about a particular topic
Study the lives of people in the Bible, nothing how their attitudes and actions portray the truths of Scripture
Study original Hebrew and Greek works and how they are used in other places in Scripture
Use printed and online study helps in your Bible Study
In addition there are many on-line tools and resources referenced in this study
In order to use this study you will need to have a Bible and a Strong's Exhaustive Concordance.
This study consists of 10 Chapters on Beauty:
Beauty in Submission
Beauty in the Heart
Beauty in Trusting God
Beauty in Humility
Beauty in Modesty
Beauty in Serving
Beauty without Discretion
Beauty in Crisis
Beauty in the Gates
Beauty in Review
(There is also a section with alternative questions for young men)
Each chapter has several days worth of lessons, which vary by chapter. Side-bars throughout include info on study helps, links, comments and questions, historical information and much more!
If someone asked me if this study met it's two stated goals above I would answer with a resounding, "YES!" This is a comprehensive Bible study that digs deep into Scripture, is not doctrinally defined, and demands that the student draw their own conclusions (that noise you hear in the back ground is me cheering over a really great Bible study for teens!).
Secondly, it requires the student to wrestle with the text in order to search out meaning, based on who, what, when, where in order to answer Why and Apply. (that noise you hear is me cheering again!). In other words, this is really great stuff. It teaches actual Bible Study (can I pause for a minute to introduce the concept of "study as worship" again?) along with content study.
That being said, this is an intensive study for those who are young or unfamiliar with inductive Bible Study (like Flower, aged 10). We did it together, which was great because we had a ton of fun and interesting discussion. But it did require quite a bit of time, just even as far as how much Bible reading there was to do. Secondly, the amount of writing required seemed like sheer torture to my more mathy girly. We mostly did the questions orally, or I filled in charts, which was a great relief to her. I share this because, while this is an excellent study that teaches how to use great tools, this is probably not a study that you can hand over to a child who is still functioning in concrete operations mode and have them be able to do it on their own.
Now Cub, aged 13, moving from concrete operations to more abstract thinking, could do the study on his own just fine. I just needed to point him to some on-line helps, put the concordance in an easily accessible location and he was good to go. He wasn't too keen on studying a book about beauty with a flower on the front, but he managed just fine.
Flower and I will continue this study throughout the fall. It's meaty, full of great discussion starters and of definite interest to any pre-teen or teen girl.  If you want your kids to understand HOW to study the Bible for themselves, (you know, so they can work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, instead of being spoon fed by whomever for the rest of their lives) you'll want to check out this Bible Study. It does just that.
Doorposts has also just released:

You can pre-order Beauty in the Heart for $14; the printed books will be available August 28 but if you order now you will receive a free instant- down loadable copy of the study in addition to the text.
Free resources from Doorposts
Content -excellent
Presentation -excellent
Organization -excellent

Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew

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