Book club

Ready to dig deeper?

Friday, February 23, 2018
My first experience at a Signs Publishing Book Club

I have a busy life, but having a busy life has a number of drawbacks, one of which is a perceived need to decline invitations to attend Bible-study groups. But the twist in a recent invitation—a Bible study disguised as a book club—proved too good to resist.

I love studying literature. I’m amazed how much more you find when you dig deeper into a book—my soul is fed when my eyes are opened to the full treasure inside. This is especially true of Bible study, because the Bible contains different styles of literature and its cultural setting is largely foreign to me, so I don’t automatically grasp what’s happening in the narrative. So, a spiritually-focused book club had me from the word go.

The book
We read, partially read or skimmed three or four chapters of There’s More To Jesus: Encountering the Fullness of Christ in Adventism by Pr Shawn Brace each week. Each chapter, through thorough biblical investigation and illuminating anecdote, digs into a different facet of Jesus—the loving Christ, the law-giving Christ, the liberating Christ, 21 characteristics in all. Brace writes squarely for Seventh-day Adventists, couched within pioneer Ellen White’s deep desire for the church to see the “fullness of Christ.” The book ends with a hard-hitting prologue, but I’ll let you discover that for yourself.

The people
The range of people and ages at the book club ensured a slightly uncomfortable edge to some of our discussion. Among the 15 or so who attended most Tuesdays were newish Adventists, not-yet Adventists, returned-to-the-fold Adventists, just-hanging-in-there Adventists and Ellen White-quoting Adventists. We didn’t all see things the same and that is a good thing. As a friend said, God doesn’t want us to be comfortable.

The verdict
The experience could have been richer. I often hadn’t read all the chapters beforehand. Even when I had, my engagement with the text felt a tad substandard (think 4.30 am and a treadmill). The idea of a Bible study book club took some getting used to. Are we seeking to grow spiritually or critique a literary style? Or both?

I’ve joined a follow up book club to shape a more rigorous experience for myself. I consider the first experience a practice run, now I’m ready for more. And I’ve already finished the first week’s reading.

Signs Publishing Book Club

A you ready to dig deeper? Join or start a Signs Publishing Book Club. Contact Signs Publishing Book Editor Nathan Brown for more information and your local Seventh-day Adventist bookstore for discounts on bulk purchases.



Julie Hoey

Julie Hoey

Julie Hoey is Teacher Librarian at St Francis Xavier’s College in Hamilton, New South Wales.

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