Somewhere in the 1980s two things happened: home Bible studies began to flourish and home Bible studies began to study books other than the Bible. Explanations probably abound, and there is no reason to speculate why this happened or debate the value of book studies (other than the Bible). At one time, small groups opened the Bible to a passage and asked three questions: What does it say? What does it mean? How does it apply?
Has your church focused on Bible studies or Book studies? Any discussions about this?
A return to a more Bible-based Bible study guide could help many Christians get back to the Bible, so I was more than happy to hear that Zondervan, led by Karen Lee-Thorp and Karen Jobes (of Wheaton), was re-shaping the NIV Application Commentary series into a more usable form for home Bible studies. So, I would encourage many of you to get one in this series to see if it is what is needed in your church and in your Bible study — and there are now three available, including mine on Galatians (I have a copy in hand so it is available or available very soon):
One more comment: the editor at Zondervan for this new series, Katya Covrett, is one of the hardest working and efficient editors I’ve seen.