Reviewed by: Judith Dinsmore
1–2 Peter: Living Hope in a Hard World, by Lydia Brownback. Crossway, 2021. Paperback, 128 pages, $14.99. Reviewed by New Horizons managing editor Judith Dinsmore.
In 1–2 Peter, Lydia Brownback, a PCA member and seminary graduate who has also published workbooks on the books of Esther and Judges and the gospel of Luke, guides the lay reader in asking good questions of, and thus meditating on, the text.
With about as many blank lines for the reader as there are commentary and questions from Brownback, the workbook doesn’t allow for either idleness or haste. Any veteran of Bible reading plans will appreciate the chance to linger in 1 and 2 Peter: the workbook on these two short epistles is segmented into ten weeks. The prompts can often be answered simply by rewriting portions of the text. For example, “From verse 22,” Brownback asks, “identify the characteristics of the love we are to have for our Christian brothers and sisters” (40). 1 Peter 1:22 easily yields up the answer: the love is to be sincere, earnest, and from a pure heart. Regularly, Brownback directs the reader to other relevant passages. Refreshingly scant are personal application questions: only two per week.
With little commentary from Brownback and few reflective questions, the workbook may be difficult to use as a group discussion guide. However, it’s an excellent resource for individual study or for accountability partners. And there is no sanctioned study space required. The uncomplicated, step-by-step questions that stick to the clear meaning of the text pair well, if necessary, with feeding babies and praising dinosaur drawings. But that’s not to say the workbook detracts from the wonder of 1 and 2 Peter. On the contrary, it provoked joy and delight—the joy of making connections that scads of believers have made before me about suffering, submission, and our incorruptible inheritance; the delight of the perspicuity of Scripture.
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