Have you ever heard a guy lamenting his inability to do a job properly because he doesn’t have the right tool? How about the job of Christian discipleship; in particular yours? The Bible has always been the tool behind developing Christian life and thought, and that remains the case today. However, we now have a remarkable number of resources available that help us learn, understand, and apply the scriptures in our lives. I thought I would highlight a small number that I use, or am aware of, in the areas of bible study and general Christian living.
Bible Study Tools:
- ESV Bible (free), ESV Study Bible (from your app store) – This is a great Bible reading app. The Study Bible version is for a fee (about $40). Some apps include audio bible options which is great for commuting or for when working around the house.
- BibleStudyTools.com – A free site containing a wide variety of resources such as bible dictionaries and encylopedias, classic commentaries, and all major translations.
- Olive Tree BibleReader – Another bible reading app, but this also may be used to download free books from well know authors past and present.
- Apologetics315.com is a website with a dizzying array of resources, which may be its one downside; that is so much available that navigation may be difficult for some. Besides topical articles it has numerous links to other apologetic websites, podcasts, and interviews. They review books and movies as well. All free.
- BeThinking.org is a great website created by a friend of mine whilst working with UCCF in the UK. The site is easy to navigate by category or search function. Helpfully, its resources are rated for accessibility (easy, medium, hard). There is a range of resource styles, and subjects range from classic apologetic questions to the most current cultural challenges.
- RZIM (Ravi Zacharias) – Not surprisingly, RZIM has some great resources online organized by: Listen, Read, or Watch. Numerous podcast options including his popular Let My People Think.
In addition to personal study aids, there are numerous resources to help engage our minds within a Christian perspective on various theological, political, or cultural issues.
- The Briefing is a daily podcast hosted by Albert Mohler, President of Southern Seminary, that analyzes a wide range of news and events from a Christian worldview.
- Tim Challies is a longtime Canadian blogger and is a wonderful general source for interesting reviews of books, and personal reflections on social issues and theology.
- 5MinutesinChurchHistory with Stephen Nichols. I don’t know where exactly to fit this, but I cannot help but commend it to you somewhere given my love of Church History. This is a very accessible, well done, weekly podcast. Nichols is passionate about how God has worked in His Church through the centuries and does a great job of highlighting people, events, and places that have helped, by God’s grace, to bring us to where we are today.
- Christiananswers.net/spotlight Christian Spotlight on Entertainment is a service offered by Christiananswers.net and provides helpful reviews of television programming and Hollywood movies for Christian families. Movies are rated for both cinematic quality and objectionable content, alongside a thoughtful reflection on the movie itself. It can be a very helpful guide to parents looking to engage their children in thoughtful critique of the worldview behind the plotline.
Obviously, this is the smallest of fractions of the resources available to Christians these days. Again, our primary source of instruction and inspiration is our Bible! However, God has always encouraged His Church to encourage and challenge one another (“iron sharpening iron”, and “provoking one another to good works” for example). The above are a few examples of the kinds of resources God has provided the 21st Century church to come alongside our traditional means of discipleship within the local church. If you have any questions or comments don’t hesitate to connect!