Sunday, September 4, 2016

An Unexplainable Life by Erica Wiggenhorn

An Unexplainable Life: Recovering The Wonder And Devotion Of The Early Church by Erica Wiggenhorn (Moody Publishers)

An Unexplainable Life: Recovering The Wonder And Devotion Of The Early Church by Erica Wiggenhorn is a 10-week Bible study of Acts 1-12, which breaks these twelve chapters down verse-by-verse and reflects upon them over the length of 50 days (5 days per week). In the introductory material, Erica states, "In only fifty days Peter went from a timid man, full of fear and hiding in the shadows, to a courageous follower of Jesus... What do you suppose God could do in and through each of us in fifty days if we spent time with Jesus in this study of His Word?" This is not just another basic study of the book of Acts. Instead, this is guidebook for understanding the level of devotion and wonder that Peter and other members of the early church had, and bringing that forward into your personal life with God so that you may reach your full potential in His eyes.

I love the formatting utilized by this book; the questions for you to focus on are separated and in blue print, and there are blue "picture frames" for you to draw or write your impressions of the personal truths being discovered. I do not love the fact that most of the Bible verses you are expected to read are not included in the print. One particular lesson covers Acts 1:9, Daniel 7:13-14, Acts, 1:10-11, John 16:7, and Acts 1:14 (in that order), which requires a lot of flipping around in your personal Bible. While I understand the issue of conserving space and wanting to encourage people to work in and with their own Bible, it would have been nice to have a few more of the one-verse quotes included in the text. Also, with various translations having differences in wording, it would have been an aid in seeing the author's reference to each specific Scripture passage a little more clearly.

While referring to the closing exercise of Week 1, Day 1, Erica states, "You may be a brand-new Christian, so this next exercise may be a little difficult for you to complete." Here's the thing: I would not recommend this to a new Christian. While it is very thorough and digs very VERY deep, this also makes it understandably complicated. I frequently found myself having to re-read the same Scripture passages two or three times in order to fully connect the passage with the study. This is also not something I would recommend for you to take on as a quick relaxing study in between dealing with the kids. It's made to take all of your focus and make you really think about what you've read and how you can integrate that into your life. It's not the light fluffy Bible study that so many companies seem to be mass-producing. Overall, I'm giving this 4/5 stars.

Honestly, it's a bit complicated for me right now. I read through it, but am not at the point in my life where I can sit and fully focus on every one of the exercises to gain the full benefit of this study's impact. That being said, I plan on putting it on a shelf and returning to it in a year or so when my life is more stable and I can truly appreciate the changes that this study dictates.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this honest review.*

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