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[Review] The Simplified Guide: Paul's Letters to the Churches by David Hazelton

Title: The Simplified Guide: Paul's Letters to the Churches
Author: David Hazelton
Publisher: Deep River Books September 5, 2013
Genre: Non-fiction
Theme: Teaching and applying Paul's letters to our lives.
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 216
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free copy from Bring It On Communications for purpose of review.

The Simplified Guide: Paul's Letters to the Churches, is a study of Paul's letters in the New Testament. The book is not a theological commentary for teachers or pastors, but for the common man and woman who has a desire to understand Paul's letters.
"Paul's letters provide a remarkably consistent and coherent description of the gospel-centered life on matters of belief, behavior, and relationships."  page 16.
"Paul both begins with the gospel message and connects all of our core beliefs back to the gospel. And what we believe as followers of Christ provides the foundation for how we are to live. Without the power of the gospel, we cannot live the holy life to which we are called." page 16.
Author David Hazelton, organizes his book with the emphasis on what Paul's teachings from the New Testament letters mean for us today.
Examples of chapters:
"What is the significance of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ?"
"How important is it for us to remain faithful to the gospel?"
"How should we deal with others who have different personal practices and conviction on secondary issues?"
"How often should we pray?"
"Why is love so central to a Christian's life and relationship?"
At the end of each chapter is the question: "What do Paul's instructions mean for us today?"
The conclusion chapter is learning to study Paul's letters on our own, this is a helpful hints chapter.

What stood out to me the most in this book is the comfortable teaching style of David Hazelton. I feel a Christian at any level of Bible understanding can grasp its content. Some Christian readers are turned off by a dry theological summary or exegesis of Scripture; Hazelton's book is approachable and edifying.
A second point in this book is at the end of each chapter a question is posed: "What do Paul's instructions mean for us today?" A list of further questions are given that can be used by an individual or in a study group. These questions help solidify what the previous chapter taught. They also help us to understand and remember what we've just read.
In chapter four the author brought out an important point that should be remembered: "We will never be able to fully understand and apply God's truth simply through study and intellectual rigor" page75. We Must have the Holy Spirit in order to understand spiritual applications.
Part two of this book is on "Right Conduct". Hazelton reminds us we are to live, "holy lives worthy of the gospel".

Link @ Amazon:

Link for book @ Christian Book Distributor: Paperback $10.99

756842: The Simplified Guide: Understanding Paul"s Letters to the ChurchesThe Simplified Guide: Understanding Paul's Letters to the Churches


Joyful Reader said…
I am currently looking for what I will be studying in 2014. This year I spent it in Romans. This sounds like a great possibility. I have been considering John and his works but that would involve Revelations and I think that would have to be a whole year on it's own. Paul's letters although many would be a good idea and this sounds like a good start. hmmm.
Annette said…
Hello Joyful Reader!
There is a book I reviewed on Revelation earlier this year and you might be interested in it. It is called, God's Final Word by Ray Stedman.
Thanks, Annette! Very encouraging to read your review, and I certainly pray that The Simplified Guide allows people to engage the whole of Paul's teaching to churches in a fresh way. God bless! - Dave Hazelton