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Read It! - January 2018

February 14, 2018 0 comments

Tim Challies, Set An Example Cruciform Quick, 2017, 49 pp. $3.99

Tim Challies has established himself as a faithful Christian and writer who seeks to serve and encourage the church. For several years, Challies has made many significant contributions on his popular blog encouraged many through his writing ministry. His latest project features a series of booklets, which address foundational matters of Christian living.

Set An Example is a short but powerful exposition of 1 Timothy 4:12 - “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” What makes this book especially meaningful is that the author targets Christian young people in particular.

Challies compares the Christian life to a canvas: “God means for your life to be a canvas, the setting for a beautiful work of art. And he also expects this work of art will be seen, admired, imitated.”

The booklet is arranged in six chapters that follow the basic pattern in 1 Timothy 4:12. As such, readers are encouraged to set an example in:

  • Speech
  • Conduct
  • Love
  • Faith
  • Purity

Challies admonishes young believers, “The biggest way, the best way, the primary way to serve your church is to pursue godliness, to grow in wisdom and knowledge, in character and obedience. Set an example, be an example. Make your life a beautiful work of art.” Each of the external and internal qualities that Paul refers to in 1 Timothy 4:12 are explored, explained, and illustrated in a way that young people can understand.


It is difficult in such a short review to articulate how powerful this little booklet really is. The writing is direct and challenges readers without being overbearing. A major benefit of this work is Challies’ emphasis on the local church. Young readers will quickly see the importance and benefit of plugging into their respective churches and serving with zeal and faithfulness. Discussion questions are included at the end of each chapter, which challenges readers to apply what they have learned.

“This is your challenge as a young person in the church today. You are to have faith, faith that is rooted and grounded in God as he reveals himself through the Word … Be a man or woman of the Word. Devote yourself to Scripture. As you do this, your faith will grow, and as your faith grows, so will your faithfulness,” writes Tim Challies. Set An Example is the kind of material that should be absorbed by youth groups and utilized by fathers who seek to disciple their children. I recommend it highly!

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