How To Pray How To Study The Bible (Hendrickson Christian Classics)
~R. A. Torrey
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ISBN/ASIN : 1565634489
Manufacturer : Hendrickson Publishers|
Release data : 30 December, 2004
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THINK, It's The Bible!!!
"A business friend once asked me in a hurried call to tell him "in a word" how to study his Bible. I replied, "Think." (R.A. Torrey, How To Study The Bible)
This paticualar rendition of Torrey's works is really two books in one: 1.How To Pray, and 2. How To Study The Bible. Both were written around the turn of the previous century, and both are strong in their presentation.
How To Pray is really a noble and heart filled work of the author to exhort the christian to in fact pray. Torrey quickly demonstrates why many christians do not receive the blessing of God. To quote Torrey,
"James brings this out very forcibly in the fourth chapter and second verse of his epistle. "Ye have not because ye ask not." These words contain the secret of the poverty and powerlessness of the average Christian-neglect of prayer." (Torrey, pg.5)
The author expands upon this premise and makes a beautiful case for abundant prayer in a christians daily life. I was truly blessed once I prayed upon these concepts, and have introduced more prayer (with increase results in my life) to my daily walk with God. Where this author and I slightly disagree is on the premise of answered prayer. Torrey almost made it sound impossible to have ones prayers answered during one section. I believe he might have been a little fatigued with the lack of faith of the christian community at large during his time. This came across in his writing, and in doing so at one point he almost painted God as being unattainable. Which is why I give "How To Pray" 3.5 stars (it could have easily earned 4.5 stars had the my lone critique been avoided by the author).
"How To Study The Bible" is a brilliant work, and after reading this I see Torrey's influence in Rick Warren's, "Bible Study Methods." Which if your interested I have a review of that book as well. "How to Study The Bible" truly is a masterpiece in it's time. The author goes over 7 bible study methods in just over 80 pages. These 7 methods include: The Study of Individual Books, Topical Study, Biographical Study, Study of Types (eg. Passover), study by Chronilogical order, and usefulness in dealing with men. After this the author informs the reader which habits he/she will need to properly study the Bible. I found this section very enlightening, and I will leave you with quotes from this section in just a moment. I have chosen to give "How To Enjoy The Bible" 4.7 stars for it's useful approach, and it's on target message to the reader. There are not a lot of books on the market that can give a christian the keys to a working relationship with God in less than 200 pages. This book does. On a parting note this book lists for $6.95 so buy it already!!!
ANd Here's TORREY!!
"One of the greatest follies of the day is to set unregenerate men to teaching the Bible, because of their rare knowledge of the human forms of speech in which the book was written. It would be as reasonable to set a man to teach art because he had an accurate technical knowledge of paints. It requires aesthetic sense to make a man a competent teacher of art. It requires spiritual sense to make a man a competent teacher of the Bible." (Torrey pg. 156)
"The reason why many get so little out of their Bible reading is simply because they are not willing to think. Intellectual laziness lies at the bottom of a large percent of fruitless Bible reading." Torrey pg. 158
"It is remarkable how clear and simple and beautiful passages that once puzzled us become, when we are brought to that place where we say to God, "I surrender my will unconditionally to Thine. I have no will but Thine." pg. 159
"If you would get the very most profit out of your Bible study, resolve from that from this time you will claim every clear promise and obey every clear command, and that as to the promises and commands whose import is not clear, you will try to get their meaning made clear." pg. 165
A challenging read for any student of Scripture hungry for more
HOW TO PRAY:
Reuben Archer Torrey was the right hand man of the famous evangelist D.L. Moody. While Moody was brusque, impulsive and uneducated, Torrey was polished, logical and scholarly. He spent much of his life in the educational realm serving as the first superintendent of the Chicago Evangelization Society, which would later become the Moody Bible Institute and also served as the dean of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (BIOLA). The passions of his life were evangelism, prayer, and the study of God's Word.
How to Pray was first published in 1900 and is a very straightforward challenge to all believers to pray. Torrey begins with putting forth his argument as to why prayer is important to the follower of Christ and then addresses common hindrances to prayer and as well sage advice on how to pray. One of my favorite lines from the book is "If we would feed the fire of our prayers with the fuel of God's Word, all our difficulties in prayer would disappear." Torrey never strayed from God's Word as the authority and understanding for his communion with God through prayer and understood that his power in prayer was only possible through the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in his life, his submission to God's will through a life of obedience and the presence of Jesus Christ as his High Priest who makes intercession for him before the Throne of Grace.
Torrey was a man of prayer. He understood prayer to be the one great avenue of communication to God that is too often neglected today and its absence is seen in the lack of power and persistence in the life of many Christians. How to Pray is a clarion call to return our devotion to our first love - Jesus Christ - and to spend time with Him in prayer. A great read for every follower of Christ.
HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE:
It has been often said that the Bible is not a book to be read, but rather to be studied. R.A. Torrey would agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment. How to Study the Bible, first published in 1896, demonstrates the care with which Torrey would study his bible. Yet Torrey would be the first to tell you that his study of the bible, while diligent and demanding, was made fruitful not because of his intelligence or methods, but rather because of the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit of God's truth. And this fact made Torrey an even more diligent student of Scripture - he shares his wisdom from years of study with other hungry students of God's Word in this book.
To begin with, Torrey gives several practical suggestions regarding the attentive and assiduous study of Scripture. Whether that method is studying an individual book of the bible, a topical or biographical study, Torrey gives several practical guidelines for how to get the most out of the time spent mining God's Word for precious gems. Torrey concludes his remarks with a reminder that God's truth, while easy enough for a child to understand, is hidden from the person whose heart has not been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb - spiritual things are only evident to the spiritual man.
How to Study the Bible is a rather challenging book to read because of the depth of wisdom that Torrey shares from his years of study and contemplation. Yet one truth that he shares is at the core of the essence of his work - he challenges Christians to think about Scripture, not merely to read, but to understand. And, according to Torrey, memorization and meditation are indispensable tools for the true and serious student of the Bible without which depth is shallow and limited.