In his book of Bible study, Life Lessons from the Word, Dr. Q.E. Hammonds, a Baptist pastor from Alabama, offers a series of simple but heartfelt reflections on such topics as forgiveness, fasting, prayer, demons, salvation, and grief. His approach is impassioned, yet not heavy-handed. His hope is to “give you enough structure to point you in the right direction, but not too much substance to overshadow your own spiritual gift.”
The format of the book is straightforward. Hammond provides the citation to a Bible passage and then extricates the complex meaning and teachings from the story. Written for pastors, ministers, and educators, the book’s down-to-earth style is warm, friendly and insightful. While much of what’s here isn’t cutting edge, readers will find that this book offers gentle reminders of what the Bible is all about. Moreover, Hammond does an impressive job of offering concise definitions of biblical words in order to highlight their depth of meaning, though his book would have been better served if he had used italics for the Greek and Hebrew word translations instead of blending them with the English, which is confusing at times.
Unfortunately that is not the only problem. Though the strength of the book is its conversational tone, there are numerous grammatical and typographical errors as well as inconsistent capitalization throughout. Further, there is quite a bit of repetition (for instance, the lesson on temperance on page 76 is almost word-for-word the same lesson that has already appeared on page 70) and the structure is somewhat haphazard.
While Hammond’s intention for his book is laudable and his ideas worthy, his text needs refining in order to maximize its effectiveness.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.