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
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,
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
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.
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,
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