The Disciple’s Guidebook by A. Victoria Chance is a straightforward Bible study intended to provide Christian readers with a workout plan to build spiritual strength, character, and a deeper and more robust faith in the works of Jesus Christ.
The book centers on the “Armor of God,” a metaphorical idea first proposed in Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians that calls on believers to don the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of readiness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and finally to take hold of the sword of the spirit. This spiritual armor, as Chance describes it, is to be “used by the Christian disciple to stand against the devil’s schemes” and to prepare the faithful for the Kingdom of Heaven in their day-to-day lives.
Broken into seven chapters that illuminate the different parts of the armor, Chance provides discerning commentary as well as ample Biblical passages to guide readers to a deeper understanding of the Old and New Testaments. Her conversational tone is succinct and appealing, and her insights into the emotions that mimic love (as well as the need to be aware of our desires) are simple but thought provoking.
The book is not without flaws, though. Chance has an authoritative voice, but as a reader you wish she had gone into more depth and detail about some of the parables, including the age-old story about the power of the mustard seed. Moreover, there are a number of illustrations throughout that serve more as a distraction than as tools of explanation. Lastly, the book could use a more diligent copyedit to tighten the prose.
Overall, however, Chance has done a fine job here, and the book could serve as a good introduction for church groups that are looking to apply ancient Biblical teachings to modern day living.