Contents
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The Bible
1. God's inspired word
2. Reasons to believe the Bible
3. Prophecy concerning Israel
4. Does it matter what you believe?
5. Bible reading
God
6. What is God like?
7. Creation
8. The Spirit of God
9. Prayer
10. Worship
11. Faith
12. Blasphemy
13. Idolatry
Sin
14. Holiness and obedience
15. Events in Eden
16. Temptation
17. Sin
18. Death
19. Hell
20. Sexual morality
21. Anger
22. Pride and humility
23. Demons and ghosts
24. The Devil and Satan: Old Testament
25. The Devil and Satan: New Testament
26. War and conscientious objection
27. Alcohol, drugs and smoking
28. Repentance
29. Forgiving one another
Jesus
30. Old Testament prophecies of Jesus
31. Jesus as Messiah
32. Jesus: Son of God and Son of Man
33. The relationship of God with Jesus
34. The sermon on the mount
35. The sacrifice of Jesus
36. The Lord's Supper
37. Baptism
38. Grace
39. What is Jesus doing now?
The Kingdom of God
40. God's promises to Abraham and David
41. Israel: chosen or rejected?
42. The return of Jesus
43. Resurrection
44. Judgement
45. The Kingdom of God
46. Parables of the Kingdom
47. Heaven
Discipleship
48. Worry
49. Suffering
50. Spirit gifts
51. The fruit of the Spirit
52. Led by the Spirit
53. Fellowship
54. Preaching
55. The law of love
56. Honesty
57. Keeping the Sabbath
58. Wealth and money
59. Gambling
60. Marriage
61. Role for men and women
62. Careers and employment
63. Friends
64. Leisure time
65. Gossip
66. Medical ethics
Appendices
A     A confession of faith
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The Way of Life
Copyright © 2002.
2nd printing: 2003.
ISBN: 0-9577908-1-3
Edited by Rob J Hyndman

Published by:
BETHEL PUBLICATIONS
P.O. Box 285, Beechworth, VIC 3747, Australia.
ianhyndman@bigpond.com

Printed by:
Printland Publishers
GPO Box 159, Hyderabad 500001, India.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version. NIV. Copyright ©
1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.

Illustration on page 12 is by Roy and Jane Toms, reproduced with permission from Thine is the Kingdom by Peter Southgate (2nd ed., 1997, Dawn Book Supply). Cover design, illustration on page 14, and maps on pages 89 and 306, are by Nathan Islip. All other illustrations are by Coralie Islip.
Permission is granted for chapters of this book to be reproduced for class use without further permission. Requests to reproduce material from this book for any other purpose should be directed to the publisher.

Preface

The Way of Life is a new introductory textbook on Bible teaching. It is intended to cover the first principles of Bible teaching and discipleship in Christ. The book is primarily intended for use in small groups such as older Sunday School classes (ages 16 and over) and Bible reading groups.

Why another book?
There are currently a number of Christadelphian books covering basic doctrines and a few books covering some of the principles of a life in Christ. But none which cover both. I think it is a mistake to separate the two because it encourages the idea that people need to know the truth before baptism, but living it is something they just work out for themselves afterwards. We ought to teach living the Way just as much as believing the Truth. Also, it was felt that there was a need for a simpler presentation of Bible teaching in an attractive format with class activities, discussion questions, homework, etc.

The book is intended for use in a small group discussion format. Each chapter is designed to be covered in one class, although some of them may take longer. Many chapters have been “road-tested” in a weekly class. Special thanks are due to the members of the class for their enthusiasm and dedication over a long period. I hope this book-format will end any difficulties with turning pages!

Who wrote it?
The writing team consisted of seven people: Mark Morgan, Neil and Robyn Pitt, Stuart and Shannon Richards, Ruth Sutcliffe and me. The first draft of each chapter was written by a member of the writing team. Leanne Hyndman and Ruth Morgan also wrote one chapter each. Once the first draft of a chapter was completed, it underwent a lengthy process of editing and review. First, I edited it for consistency in style with the other chapters. Then the edited version was discussed by all members of the writing team. It was an occasionally painful process seeing one’s carefully written chapter dissected and criticized by the other writers, but we quickly learnt that the improved result was worth any battered pride. The chapter then underwent a second round of editing before being sent to the review team.

The review team consisted of Helen Quixley, Ruth Morgan, Meryl Morgan and Christie Smallwood. Helen and Ruth painstakingly checked every reference in the book, while Meryl and Christie proof-read the text and made many helpful suggestions about the content. Rachel Morgan, Catherine Morgan and Coralie Islip also read some chapters and provided useful feedback. I then edited the chapter a third time taking account of the comments and corrections provided by the review team. Finally, Ben O’Connor read the entiremanuscript before it went to print. Naturally, in such a process, there will be some disagreements about what should be said, or how it should be said. However, these were remarkably infrequent. Where they did occur, the responsibility for what was written rests with me as editor.

Notes to leaders
This book is written to be used in a discussion group. Such groups work best if they are led by an experienced Bible reader who can guide the discussion, help class members find answers to their questions, and ensure all class members are learning and growing through being part of the group.

Each chapter is intended to provide the basis for one class, lasting between 60 and 90 minutes. The “focus passage” is designed to get the class thinking about the topic, and looking in detail at a particular passage relevant to the topic. The questions associated with the focus passage also help the group to warm up to each other, and begin to talk more openly.

The main body of each chapter provides a summary of Bible teaching on that topic. A group leader may wish to go through this material as it is written, or they may wish to provide their own ideas and approach to the topic. Discussion classes generally work best if class members are allowed to ask questions or make comments at any stage, although sometimes a leader may have to request particularly vocal members to allow others the opportunity to make comments!

There are various questions in the margin and in the “Thought provokers” section at the end of each chapter, which can be used to promote group discussion or to extend the class thinking in some areas. I generally find it is better not to leave these to the end of the class, but to use the questions throughout the class to maintain group interest and involvement. Of course, a leader may wish to supplement these with other questions.

The “Further investigation” section at the end of each chapter provides additional activities which are intended to be done individually as “homework” outside the class, but some may be suitable for group discussion also. If a class member wishes to learn more about the topic than is provided in this book, there are some suggestions for further reading in the section “Want to know more?” at the end of each chapter. We have tried to select books which are easy to read, and accessible to a wide audience. In some cases, we have recommended books which contain doctrinal errors, although a warning is given in each case. The chapters do not have to be covered in the order presented. The needs and interests of the class should determine the most appropriate order and emphasis.

Further thanks
The excellent index at the back of the book was prepared by Shannon Richards. I am sure she did not appreciate what a time-consuming and difficult task I was asking her to do. She does now. Her attention to detail will be evident to anyone using the index.

The illustrations throughout the book were prepared by Coralie Islip. Despite my request for “just some basic line drawings”, she has done a magnificent job as usual. Nathan Islip produced the maps on pages 89 and 306, the wonderful sketch of Jerusalem on page 14 and the superb front cover, demonstrating his artistic flair and great enthusiasm. The photograph on the front cover was taken by my father Ian in Colorado Springs, October 1998.

I am very grateful to all those named above for their commitment to this project, their unflagging enthusiasm and their spiritual encouragement. It is now more than four years since I first asked the writing team to join me in working on this book. But their dedication has never faltered. Even when I lived in the United States for six months, they held meetings without me and we sent chapters across the Pacific by email.

Finally, I wish to thank our heavenly Father for blessing this project from the beginning. The guidance, care and strength he provides continually amaze me. I pray he will now use the book to call more people into his family.
Rob Hyndman
Melbourne, Australia.
April 2002.

 

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