Admittedly I am a very visual learner. Many times when my wife is attempting to describe her vision for a future home renovation project, it is difficult for me to put her words into a mental picture of what she is trying to get across. I need a blueprint or a picture at least to put some context and connections to the vision being relayed. Once I have that in hand, the grand vision and to a large degree the details begin to come into focus.
Helpful for Visual Learners
Tim Challies, noting that many others fall into the same visual learning category as myself, began to offer on his website a series of infographics. These well done visual depictions of a number of theological truths, were something I continually looked forward to as I found them quite helpful besides being visually appealing. Using that idea, Challies and Josh Byers have provided a book aptly titled Visual Theology: Seeing and Understanding the Truth about God in which they utilize a number of excellent infographics to help the reader make needed connections on matters of theology.
A Visually Stunning Book
For starters, this is a visually stimulating book. This is not a statement I often make about books dealing with theology. Typically I comment on the plethora of footnotes or the expansive bibliography or the manner in which the author elaborates and exegetes a particular element of theology. Make no mistake that this book deals with theology. The authors examine a number of important theological topics. They just do it in a somewhat unique manner, namely through the use of full page and colorful infographics.
I am sure most remember trying to memorize that dreaded periodic table of the elements. I recall trying to at least put in my short term memory all the facts concerning the elements such as the abbreviation, weight, etc. Challies and Byers use this periodic table picture concept to present the books of the Bible. I mention this because it is rather clever and it represents just a small sample of how these infographics are quite helpful in driving home facts and concepts. In the case of the books of the Bible periodic table, they provide an abbreviation for each book, the “long name” if you will, the author, and the date of authorship. What a great way to depict some basic facts that would be very useful in a Sunday School classroom or for my personal purposes, as part of a homeschool curriculum.
There were even one of my least favorite types of infographics, namely a flowchart. I encounter these at work and I usually cringe when trying to follow the process that is being depicted. Challies and Byers use a flowchart to outline how to mortify sin. I humbly admit that I was able to completely follow the train of thought and the yes/no decisions throughout the flowchart. Furthermore, besides being visually useful, the information was spot-on theologically, an important element after all for a book discussing theology.
This is a book I highly recommend, especially if you are a visual learner or you interact with visual learners. This is a tool I will be using as part of my homeschool curriculum this coming year. What is even more useful is the various graphics provided in this book are available for purchase and download. Pick up a copy of this book. I am confident you will find it very useful in your study and application of God’s Word.
I received this book for free from Zondervan Academic and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Michael lives in Belleville, IL, a suburb of St. Louis, MO with his wife Erica, adopted daughter Alissa, two cats Molly and Sweetie Pie and horse Beckham. After spending eight years in the United States Navy as a Yeoman, he has been employed for the past ten years by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) where he oversees advanced educational programs. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Religion (Biblical Studies) from Liberty University and is currently closing in on completing a Master of Arts in Religion (Biblical Studies) from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He is an avid reader and blogger.