Book Review: Abraham – The Friend of God by Charles Swindoll

“Abraham – The Friend of God” is a solid small group study aid on the life of Abraham. In typical Chuck Swindoll style, he taught through the life of Abraham in a concise and clear manner. Actually the book was written by David Lien and Bill Butterworth based on the teaching ministry of Chuck. While it was written back in 1988, the study is just as relevant today, because of the timeless truths from the Word of God.

There are 24 lessons or chapters, so you would have a half year of studies for a home or small group. Swindoll’s titles and outlines cover the text and content in an easy to follow way that helps the student grasp the concepts well. Each chapter has a good introductory illustration that fits with the chapter and the chapters are concluded with “Living Insights” for further Bible study and personal application. In some lessons there are sections called “Digging Deeper,” which provide resources or essential information for probing further into the issues raised. Most of the chapters follow the flow of the Biblical text, but there are other chapters that are topical and gather information from the study on Abraham as a whole.

Reading through the study, I was refreshed and set at ease how God chose Abraham as a pioneer of faith and then demonstrated his willingness to let go, not knowing where he was going. The chapters are practical, relevant and easy to make personal identification. This is not a devotional. It is not an in-depth study of the Hebrew language. It is a study that anyone can seize and gain a closer walk with the Lord.

One thing that could have been done was to make a more relevant application to the cross and the Lord Jesus Christ in leading us in life. Everything should be connected to and centered on the Lord Jesus Christ for the Christian today. If the things of old were written for our learning (Rom. 15:4) and everything prior to the cross points to the cross, then a connection to the cross of Christ would have been helpful.  These comments, however, are not meant to diminish the excellent application of the content to life today.

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