Study Questions for Lit!

In last week’s “review” of Lit! by Tony Reinke I mentioned that I was preparing Study Questions for each chapter of the book to “encourage” my two teenage sons not only to read the book but to interact with it and apply it to their lives. We started yesterday and hope to complete it over the next few Sunday afternoons.

Here are the questions in both pdf and Word format. Feel free to take the questions and adapt them for your own personal, family, or congregational use (you’ll find a sample of the questions for the first few chapters below).

And while we are on the subject of literature, a young friend of mine has “a book review site for kids by kids.” You’ll find it here at There and Blog Again.

Sample Study Questions for Lit!

  • Most the questions are directly related to the content of the book.
  • The questions marked * are not answered in the book, but you should be able to answer them as you reflect on how to apply the book to your own life.
  • Some of the “questions” are partial quotes from the book that you should complete.

Foreword

What does C J Mahaney say is one of the evidences of conversion?

Finish quote: “Thinking deeply about the Gospel is the only way to…

Introduction

What are the three meanings of “Lit”?

What are the two main sections in the book?

Chapter 1: Paper Pulp and Etched Granite

What was the most important day in the history of book publishing?

What six characteristics make the Bible different from other books?

What’s the relationship between Scripture and every other book we read?

Name the two genres of literature.

Finish quote: “Before we step into a fully stocked bookstore we must…

*What proportion of time do you give to the Bible compared to other books?

Chapter 2: Wide-Eyed into the Son

What impact does sin have on our reading of the Bible?

What will transform the way we read the Bible and all books?

“Discernment is the ability to do three things.” What are they?

What does John Owen say is the difference between the knowledge of believers and unbelievers?

Finish quote: “Christian book reading is never a solitary experience but an invitation…

* Describe a time when your reading brought you into communion with God

Chapter 3: Reading is Believing

What modern trend is threatening book reading?

Why does God ban images in His worship?

What four ways make words better than images at communicating precise meaning?

What did the Reformation recover?

* What will you change in your life to make sure that words have priority over images?

Chapter 4: Reading from across the Canyon

What seven truths of Scripture provide the foundation for a Biblical worldview?

What is a touchstone and how does a Biblical worldview act as a touchstone?

What three rules help us decide which books to avoid?

* Can you think of any other principles to help you decide what not to read?

* Are there books you wish you’d never read? Why?

Download the remaining questions here (Word or pdf)


Check out

A Puritan Theology
Hopefully this will be out in time for the beach ;)

Wasted Depression
“Charles Spurgeon called his depression his best friend and his worst enemy. The enemy put him in the slough of despond and incapacitated him in horrible ways. The friend  caused him to lean hard upon his God and realize that all the accomplishments really were not his doing.”

OT Narratives as Pictures, Windows, and Mirrors
I agree with Justin on the importance of this book. It fairly revolutionized my own approach to OT narratives.

Sports and the Lord’s Day
A fairly rare article to read in the USA.

The Futility of Life
A teaching series on Ecclesiastes by R C Sproul.

Seminary is for deeper humility
“If there’s any experience that can pull up to the surface the pride hiding down in our hearts, it’s seminary.  The very privilege of it can go to our heads.”


Mercy for roadkill

What do you do when you find a perfect fishing pool, the ideal vacation spot, or a great new friend?

You keep it to yourself, don’t you; because sharing means less for you.

What do you do when you taste the grace and mercy of Jesus?

You want to tell others, don’t you; because sharing means more for you.

When King David was given the gracious Christ-centered promises of an everlasting King and Kingdom, he asked in utter humble awe, “Who am I, O Lord God?” (2 Sam. 7:18). Why me?

But one of his next questions was: “Is there anyone who is left of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?” (2 Sam 9:1,3).

Having tasted the grace and mercy of Christ through His covenant promises, he thought: “How can I best illustrate and demonstrate the kindness of God I’ve just experienced?

I know…I’ll try to find someone from the worst family in the nation, the family that’s my greatest threat and enemy, and lavish the greatest kindness upon him. That’ll be the best way of showing what God’s just done to me!”

You can imagine Mephibosheth’s thoughts when David’s servant Ziba knocked on his door and said the King wanted to see him. That could only mean one thing in those days. Neck, meet stainless steel.

What a traumatic journey as the lame man was carried helplessly and hopelessly into the King’s palace.

Then the sentence…

“Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.”

WHAT?

Or as Mephibosheth put it: ““What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?”

When our dogs die, we cry. When these dogs died, people laughed. Dogs were pests not pets. They were vermin. The only good dog was a dead dog. And that’s what Mephibosheth felt like – a splattered, stinking, dog corpse that people shuddered to look at.

Yet the king not only looked at him, but scraped him off the ground, cared for him, clothed him, fed him, and sat him at the royal table continuously.

From roadkill to a royal son. What mercy?

I wonder if Mephibosheth kept the chain of grace going?

Have you?

Go find your Mephibosheth and show the kindness of God to him.

Because sharing grace means more for everybody.


Check out

Biblical ethics for Twitter
7 rules for tweeting with class (HT: Denny Burk)

Temptation is not sin
Bill Mounce with three principles about temptation

Husbands, love your wives more than Seminary
Although there’s a bit too much negativity about Seminary life in some circles, this is worth a read. (HT: Justin Taylor)

Thirteen tips for getting some writing done
And on the same subject, Jeff Goins has one piece of advice.

Do people who commit suicide automatically go to hell?
Michael Patton with a moving, challenging, and comforting answer. And the right one.

Change your perspective
Really powerful video (actually filmed in my hometown of Glasgow, Scotland).


Is low self-esteem always beautiful?

“None of us have a problem with low self-esteem.”

Really?

Yes, really, at least according to Ronnie Martin. In an article that commends The beauty of low self-esteem, Ronnie says that all of us have the opposite problem, high self-esteem, which God is out to “destroy” and “eradicate.”

I know where he’s coming from, and I know the problem he’s trying to address. But this is a major over-reaction and requires much more care, especially in counseling people with depression, many of whom have come to hate and loathe themselves, often as the result of abuse or other trauma.

Without minimizing the wickedness of the human heart and without denying our inability to do anything pleasing to God apart from faith in Christ, we should regularly encourage depressed people to have a more realistic view of themselves by highlighting their God-given gifts, their contributions to the lives of others, their usefulness in society, and, if they are Christians, their value to the church.

The power of positive thinking?
For example, a depressed young mother may feel like a total failure in every area of her life because she doesn’t have a perfect home or perfect children. We can help such a person see that she achieves a lot in a day, even though she might not manage to do everything she would like. We might remind her of all the meals she makes, clothes she washes and irons, and the shopping she manages, helping her see herself and her life in a more accurate and realistic light.

This is not “the power of positive thinking” but “the power of truthful thinking.” In a wonderful little book, Spiritual Depression, Arie Elshout comments:

It is wrong to pat ourselves on the back when something has been accomplished as a result of our initiative. It is equally wrong, however, to focus on what we have not accomplished. In 1 Corinthians 15:10 we have a clear example of humility accompanied with a healthy opinion of one’s accomplishments: “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” Paul knew very well that he daily offended in many things (James 3:2; cf. Rom. 7; Phil. 3:12), and yet he did not go so far as to cast out all his accomplishments. I do not believe that this is God’s will. In contrast to sinful forms of self-confidence and self-respect, there are also those that are good, necessary, and useful. Without a healthy sense of these, human beings cannot function well. We may pray for an appropriate sense of self-confidence and self-respect, clothed in true humility, and we must oppose everything that impedes a healthy development of these things (be it in ourselves or others) with the Word of God.

A chasm of difference
Ronnie Martin concluded his article by saying, “The beauty of low self-esteem is that we finally have the hearts to highly esteem God.”

But we are not highly esteeming God if we fail to identify, acknowledge, and esteem His image and His work in us and through us. What Ronnie fails to make clear is that there’s a chasm of difference between evil pride and healthy God-given self-esteem, without which we actually cannot function in this life.

In fact without it, Moses couldn’t have led Israel, Joseph couldn’t have governed Egypt, and Ronnie couldn’t have written an article for the Gospel Coalition!

Sam Crabtree’s Practicing Affirmation (God-centered praise for those who are not good) provides a superb balance on this subject.