Category: Articles

Book Review: A Visual Theology Guide to the Bible by Tim Challies and Josh Byers

August 28, 2019

The Problem

I doubt I’m the first counselor to observe that many, many counselees suffer from low levels of Bible literacy. Some find Bible reading boring, while others find the Bible too difficult to understand. Some would say that the Bible is not applicable to daily life, and others would note that they would read the Bible, but they don’t even know where to start.

Of course, there’s only so much a counselor can do to motivate a counselee to read their Bible. The Holy Spirit is a much better influencer than any counselor could be. First and foremost, we should pray for our counselees to hunger and thirst for the Word of truth.  And as we pray, we can offer tools to help them develop the spiritual discipline of Bible reading. A Visual Theology Guide to the Bible is one of those tools.

A Helpful Tool

Tim Challies and Josh Byers have created a thoughtful and interesting guide to the Bible that could act as a useful tool in introducing counselees to the Biblical text. With aesthetically-pleasing graphics and gripping facts, it is difficult to put this book down. The book’s straightforward pages and design have increased my love for the word of God. I have enjoyed seeing the entirety of the Bible connected in a new way, without losing focus on the redemptive story of Christ. A favorite section of mine details the character of Christ in a simple way, citing his names and descriptors throughout the Old and New Testaments.

For the new or immature believer, these pages could act as beneficial homework assignments, used to develop an understanding and love for the Lord. For example, as I assign a counselee an Old Testament narrative to review for homework, I can also point her to pages that diagram the context of these stories, with maps, timelines, and graphs. Not only that, but I can also assign her to read Challies and Byers chapter on studying the Bible. There, she will learn basic steps to rightly dividing the word of truth. This chapter offers countless aids that can visually reinforce the truths that I teach within the counseling hour.

All in all, this book can be a wonderful resource to counselors as they teach and apply the Bible to the lives of their counselees.


  • IBCD
    The Institute for Biblical Counseling & Discipleship exists to strengthen churches in one another care by offering training, counseling resources, events, and free resources that are helpful to anyone interested in learning how to better help others.

Related posts

The Gospel Brings Healing

The Gospel Brings Healing

I find that many Christians get uncomfortable when talking about God and healing. To discuss God bringing physical healing raises controversial questions about spiritual gifts. To discuss emotional healing seems to reflect a concept created by modern psychology, and...

What Is the Devil’s Part in Temptation?

What Is the Devil’s Part in Temptation?

God is never the source of temptation to sin. Instead, the cycle begins with strong desires in our hearts. So perhaps you’re wondering if the devil is involved at all. Yes, he is. Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in...

Special Preview: Introduction to Midnight Mercies

Special Preview: Introduction to Midnight Mercies

What did you expect when you found yourself expecting?* Years ago, I imagined motherhood would be full of joyous milestones and memorable moments. What I didn’t expect was so much hurt, heartbreak, conflict, and disappointment. I’ve often felt clueless and incapable....