Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Two Excellent Small-Group Resources on Biblical Wisdom

We recently began a new Sunday School study using Anthony Selvaggio's A Proverbs Driven Life published by Shepherd Press.  (My thanks to the kind folks at Shepherd Press for sending me a review copy a number of months ago.)  At the time, I read bits and pieces of it and was impressed enough to give a copy to a friend whom I thought might find it useful devotionally and in one of his small group studies.

About one month ago I began looking through resources on the book of Proverbs.  I wanted something easy enough to read and discuss in a Sunday School class which includes students ranging in age from 8 to mid-80s.  I gave Selvaggio's book a more thorough look and found it to fit the bill well.  We ordered 15 copies and began our study a couple of weeks ago.  I've received great feedback from the class which is excited about the opportunity to study this beloved but often misunderstood and inappropriately applied book of the Bible.

Here's the publisher's blurb about the aim of this book:

This is a book about the wisdom God has given us in the book of Proverbs. By this wisdom, we can learn how to live in light of what is really true about ourselves, one another, and this wonderful yet deeply flawed world. Ultimately, therefore, this is a book about life lived for God in the light of divine truth. It's about life as God intends for us to live it. Proverbs does offer an infallible guarantee that a Proverbs-driven life will result in spiritual and practical blessings. But it is vitally important to remember that the goal of Proverbs is not finding earthly prosperity or even wisdom itself. The goal of Proverbs is to grow ever closer to the God who is Wisdom.
Download a sample of Chapter 1 in PDF format 

I would add, that Selvaggio is very readable, grace-filled, and Christ-centered.  This book is not a commentary on Proverbs, but rather a simple introduction to the book and an application oriented study of five important themes: Work, Wealth, Friends, Marriage, and Children.

My two children are the youngest members of the class, and I also wanted to find something to use as a supplement, at least with my youngest.  About the time I was looking for a resource for this Sunday School class I received a complimentary copy of a brand new title from Shepherd Press designed for children: Get Wisdom!: 23 Lessons for Children About Living for Jesus by Ruth Younts.

My wife and I have looked through this and we love it.  It is simple, attractive, fun, biblically sound, and designed to stimulate interaction between parents (or teachers) and their children.  I have enjoyed working through this with my son.  Our discussion have been very healthy (for both of us).  I recommend both of these to you!