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

From the series:

by Rachel Cain

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.