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Saying Is Believing

April 1, 2015

I have long been familiar with the practice of giving testimonies in church and youth ministry contexts but before reading SAYING IS BELIEVING by Amanda Hontz Drury (IVP Academic,2015) I was unaware of the impact verbal articulation of testimony had on adolescent present and future identity. Many recent studies like highlight an overwhelming lack of vocabulary and language to discuss God, their faith or Christian practices. Amanda Drury highlights the relegation of “testimonies” as a vital tool for spiritual formation as part of the problem. Exploring these themes with chapter titles like, Faithful words prompt faithful reality and What we say is who we are the argument of the importance of testimonies is put fourth.In Chapter 4 which is titled A theology of Testimonythe work of Karl Barth and Phoebe Palmer are explored to see how their differing understandings of testimony explain and enhance each other. One especially helpful element of the book were the visual tables, figures and illustrations see page 153 as an example. These combined with a full compliment of interactions with research studies in a variety of disciplines make the book and its argument compelling reading. In addition to making the theoretical, and theological case for testimonies the book helps move toward help in implementing testimonies successfully in the local church context. This book is so significant in my estimation that as of next fall I am eliminating a previously utilized written assignment in YTM 202 Spiritual Formation in Adolescence in favor of the reading and implementation of the principles of this work. Get this book, read it and implement its truths into your ministry for the sake of your students and their faith formation!

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