Book Review — The Good Portion: Scripture, by Keri Folmar
Keri Folmar, The Good Portion: Scripture. Christian Focus, 2017. 192 pps, $12.97.
What would you do if someone handed you a present and told you what was inside held the secret to everything you needed or wanted in life? What if they told you it had the power to heal and restore, equip and teach, build up and empower? Would you frantically open it, palms sweaty with excitement, ready to embrace this extraordinary gift?
Or . . . would you set it aside, assuming all that the pomp and circumstance was simply false advertising?
God has given us a gift like this. He’s given us his own Word, a that has been literally “breathed out by God” and is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16).
And why do we need this word? So that “the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17).
A SERIES FOR “EVERY WOMAN”
This conviction is at the heart of Keri Folmar’s new book: The Good Portion: Scripture [read excerpt here]. It focuses on the gift and necessity of God’s Word for us. It’s meant to be the first in a series of books on doctrine specifically for women, and its goal is simple: to “fuel your enjoyment of God by encouraging greater knowledge of him” and “to shed light on the treasure and the sweetness of the sacred Scriptures” (14, 17).
At a mere 190 pages, the book moves quickly from the beginning question of “Can we know God” to the final one, “Is the Bible enough for us today?” Along the way, Folmar addresses questions from a feminine vantage point, marvelously avoiding these perceived landmines with grace and clarity.
ACCESSIBLE & INVIGORATING
Those familiar with the work of brothers like Berkhof or Grudem might be thinking, “That’s deep-thinking kind of stuff. I need Christian living material for my everyday life.” Well, this book is for you! Folmar artfully disassembles the harmful pre-conceived notion that doctrine books are only for pastors or “brainy” Christians with a lot of time on their hands. Not so!
Folmar writes in easy-to-follow language without dumbing things down. She gives definitions for the reluctant reader in a way that doesn’t distract for the more voracious reader. It’s also well supported by her frequent use of Scripture and other respectable sources.
Stories litter the pages of how God’s Word has been powerfully used to convert his people. I found myself delighted by those as well as Folmar’s personal illustrations, some of which border on poetry:
Have you ever been walking in your neighborhood or a nearby park and the wind gently blows the sweet smell of honeysuckle by your nose so you go over to the bush to enjoy the fragrance? Or have you ever lit a bit of kindling and fanned it into flaming fire to keep yourself warm? In the same way, the Holy Spirit uses the honeysuckle and kindling of God’s Word to entice us into deeper relationship with its Author. Its like a chain reaction: We open our Bibles because we want to know Jesus more deeply. (161)
Simply put, reading this book made me want to open my Bible to know Jesus more. And isn’t that what we all want as believers in the Lord Jesus? More excitement for our Lord and his Word? Folmar gets this: “The Bible is honey for our hearts to make our souls happy in the Lord. Our priority must be to give ourselves to the reading of God’s Word so we will know our Lord better” (174).
HOW TO USE IT
Though the book is marketed for a female audience, men would also benefit greatly from its accessibility and creative brevity. It would be a fabulous resource for parents and children to work through together as they look to the importance of God’s Word in their lives.
Furthermore, Folmar has taken the time to formulate thoughtful questions at the end of each chapter. These make The Good Portion: Scripture an ideal resource for everything from small groups to one-on-one discipling to our own personal study and reflection. I plan to use this as a discipling tool with my own teenage daughters.
Charles Spurgeon once said, “The Word of God is like a lion. You don’t have to defend a lion. All you have to do is let the lion loose, and the lion will defend itself.” While Folmar doesn’t defend the lion, she does do a spectacular job drawing our eyes to the lion of God’s Word through this new book.
Pick up a copy of The Good Portion: Scripture today, and enliven your heart to unwrap the precious gift God has given you in his Word. Better yet, do it with another person! Not only will you grow in your love and affection for God’s Word, you will also anxiously anticipate the release of the next book in The Good Portion series on doctrines of the Christian life for every Christian woman.
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You can read an excerpt from this book here.