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The Power of Knowing God

The Power of Knowing God by Kay Arthur

Precept Ministries International founded by Kay and Jack Arthur has been an engine in recovering intense bible study for both personal and church edification. This 6 week bible study is remarkable in that it requires 40 minutes of the participants and seeks to gather a host of biblical teaching under the rubric of knowing God. The strength here is that each participant engages biblical texts about God and knowing him with an eye toward the theological and practical lens. Kay digs into the text by calling her readers to mark specific words and phrases that highlight important events and subjects. One of my favorite things about the book was Kay’s insistence to ask very good questions after studying specific passages. At one point in week one, Kay writes, “If you truly believe God and Jesus Christ, the Lamb, are to have dominion forever and ever, how will that affect your life?” (18). This question is then followed up by more concrete questions about how you spend your time and money. Why is this important? For one thing, the foundational truths of Scripture should always guide our behavior and action. In other words, the indicative truth of what God has done or is doing should always carry itself out in the imperative of how we should live. Kay is clear that God’s truth is not just an intellectual exercise for us to ponder, but a transformative belief that leads to change.

Lastly, one aspect of Kay Arthur’s teaching that I thought was particularly illuminating was her insistence in bringing together the unity of the Bible. Kay writes, “The God of the Old Testament seems to them an angry, wrathful deity who is somehow tempered by the time of Jesus so that He becomes more compassionate and loving” (75). This kind of dividing line in understanding the nature of God and of the Bible is countered by Kay’s study of the aspect of love in both testaments. The strength of such assertion is leveled by a careful study of the Old and New Testaments, which Kay shows us in week 5.

Overall, this bible study on the power of knowing God was a good example of how believers go deep into their study of God’s word with an eye towards practical application. The only drawback of the entire precept approach is at times studies can focus so heavily on certain words and phrases that they lose sight of the story of God’s grand redemption. Instead, we should have a wide lens view of the story of God’s work and a focused lens on the more nuanced discussion of particular words and phrases in the biblical text.

Much thanks to Waterbrook/ Multnomah press for the complimentary copy of this book.


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