Monday, 20 June 2011

Book Review| Little Black Books

Little Black Books is a series of books by Scott Petty (youth minister at Christ Church St Ives in Sydney) written for teenagers. They are designed to "get straight to the point on the topics Christians always have questions about." Little Black Books are unashamedly grounded in Scripture, whilst at the same time written in a clear and engaging style, which makes them a great read and a great resource to get into the hands of young people.

So far in the series there are five books: 'predestination', 'sex', 'the Bible', 'suffering and evil', and 'what's life all about?' All of these are a fantastic blend of faithful Bible teaching, clear and easy to read writing and a great sense of humour.

'Predestination' grapples with the issue of how God's will or decision making interacts with our will or decision making. Petty begins by giving the Bible's picture of the 'super-involved God', showing us the sovereignty of God. He then moves to look at God's sovereign choosing of His people, before addressing what this means for our freedom and how God is fair in choosing some and not others.

'Sex' gives a clear and faithful summary of the Bible's teaching on sex, providing teenagers with a robust theology of sex. Petty rightly emphaises the goodness of God's gift of sex, whilst at the same time clearly showing marriage as the only and right context for sex. Having laid the foundation of a theology of sex, he then goes on to examine dating relationships, before discussing homosexuality and pornography.

Suffering and Evil
Here Petty gives an excellent overview of the book of Job, clearly setting out the picture of God and His utter sovereignty over suffering and evil, whilst at the same time doing so in a way that is pastorally sensitive. Petty shows just how comforting the truths of the Bible are to the sufferer, and challenges his readers to trust the God who is in control of all things, including suffering and evil.

The Bible
The whole Little Black Books series is firmly grounded in the Bible. In this book Petty makes explicit why this foundation is the only one worth standing on. He gives a clear introduction to the doctrine of Scripture as the word of God, showing its authority, trustworthiness and sufficiency.

What's Life All About?
Petty here shows that it is only in relationship that we can understand what the point of life is. He introduces us to the significance of what it means for us as men and women to be created by God made in His image for relationship and to rule. From there he moves to show the significance for Chroistians of who we are as those who have been saved by Jesus and belong to His people, the church.

Overall I highly commend this series of Little Black Books. They are firmly grounded in Scripture, and therefore lay a great foundation for teenagers to think biblically about things. They are clear, engaging and easy to read, therefore young people will not come away from them thinking that the truth of the Bible is uninteresting or not for them. I highly encourage you to get these into the hands of the young people you know.

You can order Little Black Books from the Good Book Company by clicking here (buying them this way also helps support the work of AEN).