Book Review - Visual Theology
My daughters and I read Visual Theology by Tim Challies and Josh Byers in our Spiritual Formation class for homeschool during the 2016-2017 school year. As is our custom each school day morning, we read scripture, a theology book, and a prayer guide as we pray for the nations. The theological content and helpful visuals made it an effective tool for reinforcing my own systematic theology, as well as teaching my daughters who were in 4th, 6th, and 8th grades.
I appreciate Challies and Byers' careful attention to the substance in the book. The work is broken up into four sections and 10 chapters, which move naturally from a foundation of faith to its specific application in our lives. First, we read about the gospel and our identity, then we move on to the work of Christ and doctrine, and finally on to the process of sanctification or becoming like Christ and living for His glory. This flow worked well with our school year and building on the girls' comprehension.
I asked each of my daughters what they thought of the book before I sat down to write this review. Each one answered similarly, though they were not together when they responded. Each said in some fashion that they liked that both the substance and the format of the book was easy for them to understand. They all mentioned their appreciation of the clear writing and clear visuals. I would add that mixed in with the concise content are examples and stories that add to the readers' wisdom and practical application of the theology.
I read somewhere that Christian professors at a seminary in Africa (Kenya, I believe?) were using this book in a training program for local pastors. I can see how Visual Theology would be usable in many settings. It worked well for our family and our homeschool and I would recommend it to others for both adult and student use. I also think it would make a good coffee table book through which guests may browse or perhaps a gift for a new or growing believer (at a baptism? graduation? wedding gift?).
We use a new theology resource every school year and I am grateful we got our hands on this one when the last school year began. I'm not sure yet what next year will bring! I'll let you know.