Many people have asked me, "How do you find so much time to study?" The truth is that I have to be creative about how I use my time, and I definitely don't watch a lot of TV. Typically, I wake up an hour before my kids to read the Bible and pray. As tempting as it can be to pick up whatever other book I'm deeply involved in, that particular reading time is set apart for only God's Word, and I treasure it.
But let's be honest. It doesn't always happen. I'm a busy mom with two kids and a husband who travels for a living, so sometimes sleep wins. However, I do try to make sure that the first thing I read each day is the Bible. All other books come second.
If it's a day when both my kids are in school, it's a bit easier for me to sit down and read, but many times, the business of life takes over, and I have to spend those days cleaning, or running errands. When I can't sit down, I love to listen to an audio book or a podcast to help keep my mind active while I drive or do mundane chores.
Reading physical books tends to happen after my kids are in bed. This is when I can sit down and focus on a book or do some writing (if my kids aren't up 9,000 times asking for water, a snack or monster extermination!)
Here are some of the things I'm reading and listening to right now and highly recommend:
1. How did we get our New Testament? Michael Kruger, the President and Samuel C. Patterson Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Reformed Theological Seminary, teaches a wonderful class, The Origin and Authority of the New Testament Canon, and the class recordings are now available online for free. I'm about halfway through and loving every minute!
2. I just started reading Who Was Adam? A Creation Model Approach to the Origin of Humanity, by Fazale Rana and Hugh Ross. I have found this book to be fascinating, well researched, and accessible to the average reader. Have you ever wondered about ancient hominids, Neanderthals, the human fossil record, and how these things square with Scripture? This is a must read.
3. Currently, I'm listening to the audiobook, Openness Unhindered, by Rosaria Butterfield. After listening to only one chapter, I immediately ordered a physical copy of this book to go back and read more carefully. Just the first chapter on repentance is worth the price! The added bonus is that Rosaria reads the book herself, so you get all the nuance and subtleties of her intended reading.
4. I'm almost finished with Kevin Vanhoozer's Biblical Authority after Babel: Retrieving the Solas in the Spirit of Mere Protestant Christianity. This is a very interesting book that aptly answers the Roman Catholic notion that the Reformation was a bad idea that unleashed interpretive chaos on the church. Vanhoozer argues that retrieving the 5 solas will help recapture the unity of Protestantism.
5. Dallas Theological Seminary offers several classes for free online. I'm currently working my way through Genesis, and Dr. James Altman has made the book of Genesis come alive for me. These classes involve watching a recorded class lecture with a quiz at the end of each lesson to test comprehension.
6. Many Seminaries and Bible Colleges offer online classes and each semester I try to audit one class from Southern Evangelical Seminary. I am looking forward to studying the book of Acts next semester! Taking a class in real time provides me with accountability to keep up with the reading, and allows me to interact during class. I have found the professors to be available and helpful whenever I have had any questions about the material.
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