Summoned Review

Book Review: 

Biblical literacy has been in steady decline in Western churches for years. That’s why Bible studies like “Summoned,” by Megan B. Brown, are so vital.
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In this 8-week study of the book of Esther, Brown pushes far beyond a Sunday School understanding of this Jewish-Persian Queen, tackling the hard-hitting topics of sex trafficking, rape, racism and genocide. She presents Esther, not as a caricature or as a one-dimensional character, but as a full person, complete with hopes and dreams, triumphs and failures. Esther is a victim and a hero, a sinner and a saint, broken and bold, and Brown highlights each of these characteristics in turn.
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The study is well researched and laid out in an easy-to-follow manner as readers walk through the book of Esther verse by verse. While it begins with the basics of Biblical literacy, and as such would be appropriate for someone embarking on their first-ever Bible study, it was also comprehensive enough that someone with a strong understanding of the Bible would still find it enlightening. The study itself is interspersed with reading comprehension and personal reflection questions, opportunities to write scripture, and other means of interacting with the Biblical text beyond merely reading the (very good!) commentary.
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Through it all, Brown weaves the full story of the gospel of Jesus, proving that this oft-called “Godless” book of the Bible (God is not mentioned by name at all within its pages) is indeed sacred scripture.
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Appropriate for personal or group study, or as a possible resource for a preaching series, I would highly recommend this book to all who want to be challenged in their Biblical literacy and faith journey.