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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Surrounded by Grace: A Bible Study for Lent is a nonfiction Christian study/devotionals book written by Bill Thomas. Thomas is a minister as well as a religious studies instructor. His book contains seven lessons which are particularly appropriate for study during the Lenten season, and are designed for use by individuals as well as in a classroom or group study setting. They can also form the basis for sermons. Each lesson contains an introductory statement about its objective; gives a focus for prayer; includes a reading from Scripture; provides a discussion of the text and its relevance to modern life; and concludes with discussion questions and suggested hymns.
I wasn’t sure what I expected from Bill Thomas’ nonfiction Christian study/devotionals book, Surrounded by Grace: A Bible Study for Lent, but I was most agreeably impressed as I began reading the first lesson. I love the way Thomas organizes each lesson. His introductions gave me some guidance in understanding his choice of Scripture, and the way he integrates that quote with what matters in people’s lives right here and now is inspired. At no time is the author heavy-handed or didactic in imposing his own brand of faith on the reader; rather, he chooses to let the Bible speak for itself and to integrate his sense of its relevance in a thoughtful and introspective way. The questions he concludes each lesson with are thought-provoking and apt to help readers continue thinking about the subject covered for some time after reading. Thomas’ writing style is conversational in manner and makes his work on devotionals both a pleasurable and spiritual activity. Surrounded by Grace: A Bible Study for Lent is most highly recommended.