The Pauline Epistle of Titus is one that I have long taken for granted. After all, it’s a Pastoral Epistle, written to Titus as he ministers on the island of Crete. Therefore, it’s mainly relevant to ministers, and especially ministers dealing with cretins, right?
Tim Chester’s Titus for You cuts against that viewpoint. In the 120 pages of this durable hardcover, Chester extracts ideas from Titus that are useful for all Christians. It is worth noting that this is intended as a Biblical devotional book, not an in-depth commentary.
Chester’s work follows the pattern of the other “For You” books from the Good Book Company. The text is divided into shorter segments, and then each segment is discussed. Modern application points are raised for each section, and discussion questions push the reader to think more deeply about the text.
The major benefit here is Chester’s emphasis on Titus in the life of all believers, rather than focusing on Paul’s pastoral instructions. He does this by focusing on how we should live as leaders and servants in whatever context we have, highlighting those passages rather than attempting to hash out exactly what is occurring in church application. Additionally, he makes strong application to the body dynamic rather than the individual life of believers.
This comes at the cost of background information and expanded hermeneutics. The reader of Titus for You will come away with very little understanding of how Titus used this information in Crete, or even how it matter in Crete. While the book becomes a shorter reader this way, it does soften the usefulness by blunting the punch of Scripture. Readers will come away with a better understanding of Titus but not a clearer grasp on how to interpret Scripture as a whole.
The result is a valuable devotional book on Titus, but no real development of Bible interpretation tools. Those will have to come from elsewhere.
Everything else about this is good: the glossary, the lack of ENDNOTES, and the respect for Scripture. I would point out that there are no FOOTNOTES, either, as everything appears to be internally reference. There is a valuable further reading section.
I have no qualms about recommending Titus for You. It is helpful for a sharper sword in dealing with Titus, and the main drawback is the lack of training in sword-sharpening.
Free book received in exchange for the review.
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