Book Review: Included in Christ by Heather Holleman

Included in Christ: Living a New Story From Ephesians by Heather Holleman

Published June 6th, 2017 by Moody Publishers

Genres Christian, Nonfiction

Pages 204

Amazon / Goodreads

After the success of her first two books, Heather Holleman received many requests to write a Bible study. And as a college English instructor, she wanted to make sure it really taught and didn’t simply inform. So she surveyed several women about what their dream study would look like, then got to work. The result is Included with Christ, a narrative-driven study where you can bring your life before Scripture in the context of community. Together women will discern their personal shadow narratives—ways they are living outside of their identity in Christ—and then rewrite those narratives according to biblical truth. This in-depth, 8-week study in Ephesians will equip women with six “signature stories” of God’s work in their lives—helping them combat exclusion, loneliness, weakness, decay, emptiness, and silence. Designed to facilitate honest sharing and help you internalize biblical truth, Included in Christ will provide community and connectedness as well as spiritual nourishment. It will also guide you in how to share your story and the hope of Christ with someone who doesn’t yet know Him.

This Bible study is broken down into 8 weeks. Each day contains scripture to be read and instructions on what to focus on when reading. There is then 1-2 pages of information from the author about the verses/chapters being read that day. At the end of each day, there is a statement to think about, as well as questions, along with a space to write answers. This is the first time I have read a Bible study book that is this large and focused (I usually just read daily devotionals and do Bible journaling.) I was a bit intimated at first by the size of the book but I really enjoyed both the author’s writing and the set up of the book. I liked the questions that go along with each day as writing has always helped me retain information and it makes you think about the chapters you have just read.

The author focuses on some specific themes and words found in Ephesians such as included and chosen, in fact I think the word included was focused on during the very first chapter. The author also includes stories and her own experiences to help readers understand and focus on the topics presented. Overall I really enjoyed the set up of this 8-week Bible Study or Ephesians, as well as the author’s writing. I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

Thank you to the publisher, Moody Publishing, for sending me a review copy of this book.

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