Sunday, June 19, 2011

‘The Wiersbe Bible Study Series: Nehemiah – Standing Firm in the Face of Opposition’ by Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe – Book Review

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One of the most prolific authors of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Century in the field of Christian studies is Dr. Warren Wiersbe. I have read many of them! The latest ‘The Wiersbe Bible Study Series: Nehemiah – Standing Firm in the Face of Opposition.’

Here is the synopsis of this book:

Overcome the impossible. The life of Nehemiah is an inspiring testament to the power of determination. Years after Jerusalem’s defeat by Babylon, the Jewish people returned to their land only to discover a city left in ruins. Surrounded by enemies, Nehemiah finds himself tasked with an overwhelming charge: to rebuild the walls of his beloved city. This bible study examines Nehemiah’s remarkable journey from the everyday to the extraordinary and explores the unique power found in perseverance.
The Wiersbe Bible Study Series explores timeless wisdom found in God’s Word. Based on Dr. Wiersbe’s popular “BE” series, each study provides topical, relevant insights from selected books of the Bible. Structured for small groups, this eight-week study features selected commentaries from Be Determined, engaging questions, and practical applications, all designed to help you connect God’s Word into your life.

Here is the author’s biography:

Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe is an internationally known Bible teacher and the former pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago.  For ten years he was associated with the Back to the Bible radio broadcast, first as Bible teacher and then as general director. Dr. Wiersbe has written more than 160 books, including the “BE” series of Bible commentaries, which have sold more than four million copies. He and his wife, Betty, live in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

In the Introduction to Nehemiah, Dr. Wiersbe introduces us to this powerful man of God:

Nehemiah was the kind of person who cared. He cared about the traditions of the past and the needs of the present. He cared about the hopes for the future. He cared about his heritage, his ancestral city, and the glory of his God.
In my estimation, when it comes to leadership, Nehemiah stands with Old Testament heroes like Moses, Joshua, and David. It has done my heart good to study this book afresh and learn from Nehemiah the secrets of resolute leadership and successful service. I trust that reading these chapters will increase your own determination to serve God faithfully and finish your ministry with joy. (pp. 7-8)

The book is broken down into eight lessons:

1.   A Caring Attitude (Nehemiah 1-2)
2.   Workers (Nehemiah 3-4)
3.   Selfishness (Nehemiah 5)
4.   Pressures and Testing (Nehemiah 6-7)
5.   People of the Book (Nehemiah 8)
6.   Grace (Nehemiah 9)
7.   Dedication (Nehemiah 10)
8.   Sacrifice and Promises (Nehemiah 11-13)

There is also a bonus lesson, which includes a summary and review.

Each chapter has sections entitled ‘Getting Started’ and ‘Going Deeper,’ which come from the corresponding Wiersbe commentaries (in this case, ‘Be Determined’). Each chapter also features sections entitled ‘Looking Inward,’ ‘Going Forward,’ and ‘Seeking Help.’ They include insightful and challenging 
questions that allow us to study the particular sections of Scripture.

In Lesson 3 on Selfishness, I was challenged by this series of questions about leadership:

In what way was Nehemiah a good example as a leader and as a follower of God? Why is it critical for leaders to set good examples? What happens to organizations when leaders live out the “do as I say, not as I do” axiom instead? Is it fair to hold leaders to a higher standard than followers? What is the follower’s role in helping leaders become good examples? (p. 51)

My husband, Fred, loves to read books on leadership. He is a fairly new Christian (about ten years), and he has not read the book of Nehemiah in depth. I think this is the perfect study to learn more about Godly principles of leadership and service. I intend to study this with him; we can all learn more about those two important topics!

The chapters also include sections ‘From the History Books,’ which provide history tidbits with which one may be unaware. In Lesson 6 on Grace, Dr. Wiersbe shares this pertaining to Nehemiah 9:

The feasts and celebrations noted in Nehemiah probably most resemble the tent meetings of preachers such as John Wesley (1703-1791), Peter Cartwright (1785-1872), and Billy Sunday (1862-1935). These events drew huge crowds to meetings that were largely evangelistic but also often served as revival celebrations intended to spark new fervor in local congregations. While tent meetings have mostly faded into history, the most well-known evangelist of all, Billy Graham, continues to draw large crowds to stadiums. (p. 95)

I have reviewed several other Dr. Wiersbe’s books on my blog: Be Authentic: Exhibiting Real Faith in the Real World,’ reviewing the lives of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (you can read my review here), The Wiersbe Bible Study Series: It’s Always Too Soon to Quit! – 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon’ by Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe – Book Review’ (you can read my review here), Be Available: Accepting the Challenge to Confront the Enemy’ (Judges – OT Commentary) (you can read my review here), Pause for Power: A 365-Day Journey Through the Scriptures,’ (the review is here) and ‘Jesus in the Present Tense: The I AM Statements of Christ’ (you can read my review here). I have found all of Dr. Wiersbe’s Bible studies and commentaries to be extremely insightful and encourage me to dig deeper into God’s Word. He has had quite a wonderful career, and his legacy will live on for all time. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to share his wisdom and insights by reading his many books.

You can order this book here.

This book was published by David C. Cook and provided by the B&B Media Group, Inc. for review purposes. 

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