A Book Review from Books At a Glance
by Kristin Stiles
Many Christian parents would support the idea that family worship/devotions are vitally important to living out the call to train up our children. A perceived scarcity of time, resources, energy, and motivation often derail that train, however. David Murray provides a wonderful book to help families get back on track and to establish a meaningful, consistent, and routine-friendly practice of family worship.
In his book, Exploring the Bible Together, Murray removes many of the obstacles that families encounter in trying to have consistent devotions. These are obstacles such as lack of time, lack of interest on the part of the children, and lack of materials that are purposeful and enriching to the entire family. Murray includes 52 weeks of readings centered around an expedition theme. During the year, he takes the family on a journey through the entire Bible highlighting passages which set forth the overarching story of God’s provision of salvation. Each week consists of the following components: a brief paragraph that summarizes the theme for the week and gives some context to the daily readings; a suggested verse to memorize; six Bible passages to be read, each consisting of only about 5-10 verses; two questions for each passage with suggested answers; a summary/application sentence for each day; and a suggested prayer. The seventh day, each week, varies from this format and just provides discussion questions that can be applied to a Sunday sermon or to the week’s teaching as a whole. Alternatively, if one day is missed during this week, this day allows families to catch up on the readings.
There are several aspects of this book that I appreciate. Murray is sensitive to both the busyness of life and the difficulty of maintaining a routine of family worship. By providing short and direct devotionals, the family can consistently complete these readings. I also like that he provides a one-day buffer for those weeks that a family needs to miss a day. Murray was very deliberate in what events and passages he chose from scripture. He provides a very good overview of the major themes of the Bible and in one year takes the family from Genesis through Revelation.
This would be an excellent resource for parents who would like to initiate and consistently carry out family worship. This book has been thoughtfully and carefully structured to meet the needs of families in our highly active culture. The time you invest in training up your children will be well worth the effort and may very well be the means of grace that God uses to draw your children to Himself.
Kristin Stiles is a home-school mom, a Sunday School teacher, and helps lead the “Young, Reading, & Reformed” children’s ministry at Reformed Baptist Church of Franconia, PA.
Buy the books
EXPLORING THE BIBLE TOGETHER: A 52-WEEK FAMILY WORSHIP PLAN, by David Murray