It’s one thing to write a book that helps the reader know something; it’s quite another to write a book that really helps the reader do something. Here is a personal selection of twenty good “how-to” books published during the first half of 1976. They are not necessarily the best books on the topic, nor even the best recent books. But if you are at all interested in the subjects, you are likely to find in these books at least some practical help. Often you will find a great deal of help.

MARRIAGE The people who will most object to The Act of Marriage by Tim and Beverly LaHaye (Zondervan) are the ones who need it the most. The subtitle aptly describes the outlook: “The Beauty of Sexual Love.” In some ways this is a Christian counterpart to the secular best-seller The Joy of Sex. It will doubtless stir “fundies in their undies” jibes; the conservative credentials of the authors are impeccable. Some readers may think the LaHayes are still a bit too cautious, but their basic intention is to celebrate the God-givenness of pleasurable sex within marriage. Moreover, they deal quite specifically and at length with technique. This is an outstanding book, in my judgment, for both married and soon-to-be-married Christians.

BIBLE STUDY Foundational to Christian belief and practice is the study of the Bible. Regrettably, many Christians merely read Scripture and let authoritative teachers tell them what it means. What one hears and reads must supplement, not replace, one’s own serious Bible study. The Joy of Teaching Discovery Bible Study by Oletta Wald (Augsburg) is meant to help teachers introduce their students to personal Bible study. The companion book for the students is The Joy of Discovery in Bible Study, released late last year. ...

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