Merely reading the Bible is very different from hearing God speak to us through His Word. Virkler had provided us with a good strategy for hearing God's voice from the experience of Habakkuk. We are to go to a quiet place and still our thoughts and emotions. We are to fix our eyes on Jesus, seeing in the Spirit the dreams and visions of God. He helps us learn to recognize God's voice and encourages us to journal our prayers and God's answers.
Virkler gives practical instruction, such as five ways to be sure we are hearing God's voice in our biblical meditation. He shares the seven steps in biblical meditation providing a chapter on each step. He gives us the opportunity to practice the process, giving a section of reading with Scripture to meditate upon, then space to write with prompts added. He shares his own experiences so we can understand how the process happens.
Virkler also gives us the seven pillars of meditation, including steps to receiving knowledge through meditation. He includes instruction based on truths revealed in the Bible. He adds basic principles of interpreting the Bible, keys for inductive Bible study, and mistakes to avoid.
Virkler is strong on Bible meditation. “Meditation is the central way that God wants us to approach the Bible.” (89) He is no advocate of merely studying the Bible. He writes, “Study... Is no where endorsed in Scripture.” (170)
Virkler's emphasis on biblical meditation may be hard for some western thinking Christians to accept. We have had such an emphasis on Bible study we may have ignored the primary way God has designed to speak to us. I do recommend this book as a very good way to begin the process us biblical meditation. We are given steps that are easy to follow. We are also given the knowledge we need to make sure we are hearing God's voice and not something we are projecting into our experience.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Mark Virkler, Ph.D., and his wife are the cofounders of Communion with God Ministries (www.CWGMinistries.org) and Christian Leadership University (www.CLUonline.com). He has been teaching internationally for over thirty years.
Destiny Image, 186 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through The Book Club Network for the purpose of an independent and honest review.