I have three boys who have quickly grown to three young men. One off to college, one graduating next year, and the youngest soon will be a teen. More than being able to recite Pi to ten digits, to speak fluent Russian or even to master the art of Jujutsu, I desire my men to be strong in Christ. Both my middle son (age 16) and I (never mind my age) reviewed Doorposts‘ Because You are Strong with the desire it would teach us both how to study the bible, and show my son what biblical, manly strength is.
Written by Daniel Forster, a homeschool grad and now himself a father, Because You are Strong: A Study of Godly Strength for Young Men is a workbook designed for teen boys (adapted too for girls) to use for serious bible study. Serious means using a concordance, a bible with marginal notes/cross references (Naves is strongly recommended), looking at original Greek and Hebrew, and use of digital tools and Apps. My son has written a few of his own sermons, done bible quizzing and community bible study. I knew he would enjoy trying this and could offer excellent perspective.
Essentials: Glossy paperback 104 pages, 2013 edition $12 + shipping
10 major studies with extras included. Depending on amount of time spent each day, this workbook has enough material to last from several months to a year. Lessons are arranged as daily assignments, averaging about ten-fifteen minutes a day. Workbook is consumable.
The workbook teaches different methods of study:
My son started with the first study - Strength for the Race: Meditating on Hebrews 11-12 Here are his thoughts -
I liked this book and plan to finish it. I learned so much during my review period. The goal of this bible study guide is to help young men like me gain a biblical view of strength. It gets you in depth in the word, and I liked looking at the original Greek to establish the context and original meaning. The first study was on Hebrews 11 and 12. It did require a lot of writing, more than I expected and therefore it took me about twice as long to finish the study. But, that is a good way to learn as writing out scripture is helpful for memorization as opposed to just saying it. Also, I have become much more familiar with these chapters from the writing portion. I memorized Hebrews 12:1-2 by first writing it in the book, then on an index card and then recited it a few times a day. I also I looked at examples of men of faith and the author showed how faithful believers were people of strength. I see Because You are Strong best for those ages 15 and up who are interested in in-depth bible study. Everything in the bible can be applicable to your life and by putting the word of god in your memory, you will be prepared to give an answer to anyone who raises a question.
1 Peter 3:14 always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you;
My thoughts: I completed the verse study and was impressed with the amount of insight I gained by exploring so thoroughly the chosen verse, and the complete context of it. I had gotten away from using cross references and prior to doing this review, I never knew I could turn on the marginal notes in BibleGateway, and I had never used Biblestudytools.com. I wanted to start another study, but my son would not part with the book! I didn’t argue as it blessed my heart to see him pouring over the bible and enjoying it.
Because You are Strong is a solid resource for introducing our young men (and women) to bible study methods. It shows through men like Samson, David and especially our savior Jesus, what valor and strength really is. It will challenge you, propose practical application, and encourage you to write out goals and behaviors you will do to make Godly changes in your life. Good stuff.
I’ll close by encouraging you to read more reviews of Doorposts titles at the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog.