If you're a new Christian, it can be daunting to find the right resources to help you grow in your faith. Today, John Tweeddale recommends three books that can aid readers in understanding the Bible and applying its teaching to daily life.
NATHAN W. BINGHAM: Joining me on the campus this week is Dr. John Tweeddale, vice president of academics and professor of theology at Reformation Bible College. Dr. Tweeddale, what book would you recommend to a new Christian?
DR. JOHN TWEEDDALE: Thanks, Nathan. That’s an important question. It’s one I get from time to time, both at the college and also in various churches that I go and preach at. In terms of book reading, it’s one of the most important disciplines in the Christian life. Really, let me try to get in three books here. I’d say to begin with, you need to have a good study Bible. This will help you grasp the content of Scripture. You’ll be able to see the connection between, say, Malachi and Matthew, and Luke and Leviticus, or Genesis to Revelation, how the bits and the pieces of Scripture fit together. A good study Bible will help you. If you don’t have one, I recommend the Reformation Study Bible.
Next, you need a good confession. If a study Bible helps you understand the content of Scripture, a good confession will help you understand the teaching of Scripture. I’d recommend starting with the Westminster Confession of Faith. I’m a Presbyterian minister, and that is our confession of faith as Presbyterians. A confession basically says what the church believes regarding a certain doctrine, such as the doctrine of God, or the doctrine of predestination, or the doctrine of justification, or adoption. You can, in one paragraph, look at what the church believes concerning the Bible’s teaching on a variety of topics.
But then, if you have a good study Bible and you have a good confession, really the book that I recommend is a good hymnal. If you don’t have a hymnal, let me encourage you to get the Trinity Hymnal. It’s what we use in Reformed Presbyterian churches. Really, a hymnal helps remind us that our theology isn’t simply to be studied. It’s to be lived, and it’s to be sung. Real theology leads to worship, and a good hymnal is going to teach you theology. It’s going to teach you music. It’s going to teach you Scripture, and we’ll sing with the church, militant and triumphant, the praise and glory of God. If you don’t have a good hymnal, let me encourage you to pick up the Trinity Hymnal.
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