Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book through Side Door Communications for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Jude has been an interesting book of the Bible to me, mainly because it is so short. It is easy to skip right past it or to read it but just move right on. For precisely this reason, I was interested in using the six week study on the book of Jude titled Keeping The Faith: A Study In Jude. It is written by Lianna Davis and is published by Moody Publishers.
Keeping The Faith is a rich study of the text of Jude and how it works together with so many other passages in the word of God. Mrs. Davis helps us view the text of Jude as it weaves together in meaning and language with other things God has spoken in his Word.
Keeping The Faith is a 6 week study. Each week has an introduction and five daily studies. The introduction is meant to help us view the weekly idea and prepare our minds to focus on that in each of the daily studies. The 5 daily studies each have a narrative written by Mrs. Davis and questions designed to get the student reading and considering more deeply the ideas.
The narratives often quote other authors, bringing together some great minds to help the student see the bigger idea and bring it together in daily life. It runs 2 or 3 pages, some a bit longer. It is a simple read most of the time, yet it prepares the reader to delve into the idea deeper with the questions.
The questions often focus on Bible passages and how they tie together. Looking up these passages is essential for proper understanding of what is being asked. The questions also require thought and self-assessment, considering the application to the individual’s life.
Keeping The Faith focuses on “keeping.” What are you keeping, as a contender of the faith for Christ? The weekly topics are Keeping in Truth, Keeping in Grace, Keeping the Soul, Keeping the Body, and He Is Able To Keep Us. This is not a straight verse-by-verse working through of the book but rather tying the verses together through these ideas and strains that run through all 23 verses of Jude.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading through this study and working through it with my Bible by my side. I appreciated that aspect of it – it is necessary to have your Bible open and look up the various passages to fully gain the idea being addressed.
I do wish it has focused less on the denominational aspects. There were some truly denominational things in the book; she often referred to the “Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy” and “Article of Affirmation and Denial.” She also asks questions worded in ways that bothered me quite a bit. These included statements such as “As a lay Christian. . . ”
I wish these were left out because we should be focusing solely on God’s word. Mrs. Davis does a fabulous job of keeping God’s word center stage for most of this study but by including these and referring to them, she causes me to question a lot more about where her information comes from and the direction she was going with things.
Two other things that would be helpful: a different color text and I a guide of some sort to go along with the questions. The text was a light blue for the questions and difficult to read. Some of the question purposes were not clear and so I struggled to find an answer or a way to answer that made sense.
Overall, I enjoyed this study of Jude and was able to gain from it. If you are looking for something to guide you through the book of Jude, this would be a good one. Just proceed knowing that there is a denominational influence. And enjoy the study of Jude.
Lori, At Home.