Faith Path (workbook) by Mark Mittelberg

January 3, 2010 | By | Add a Comment

The fact is, people are not the same. They consider and weigh spiritual matters in differing ways. In other words, they’re on a variety of different faith paths. One person might say, “I believe what I do because I was raised with that belief.” Another relies on mystical feelings and experiences. Another wants logic and evidence; yet another says, “Why do I need your evidence when my heart tells me what to believe?”

Faith Path, p. 11

Synopsis: The Faith Path workbook is based off the book Choosing Your Faith. Both are written by Mark Mittelberg and a sort of “love languages”* for evangelism. Mittelberg has identified relativism, tradition/authority, intuition/mysticism, and evidence as paths of faith. He provides arguments as to why certain paths are flawed and describes how to engage a person based on the path that he or she is on. The book is an apologetic for the Christian faith and intended for both Christians and non-Christians, though the workbook seemed geared toward Christians.

Faith Path is designed to be used in a group with the Faith Path DVD (sold separately). Many of the concepts in Choosing Your Faith are echoed in the workbook, but only highlights are included. The DVD contains eight to twelve minute videos corresponding to the eight workbook sessions. The idea is to meet with the group, respond to a few questions, take a quiz to determine how much you are influenced by that particular path, watch the video and then discuss the rest of that session’s questions. Other than suggested readings from Choosing Your Faith, there is no homework from week to week. A leader’s guide comprises the last 30 pages of this 141 page workbook.

Positives: I particularly enjoyed the chapters on elements of a confident faith and helping others overcome barriers to faith. Also, the author’s overall approach is well-organized and reasoned. A conversation regarding matters of faith probably won’t get very far if the participants are speaking the equivalent of different languages. Additionally, I found the leaders guide at the end of the book to be thorough and particularly helpful in emphasizing takeaways and breaking down the workbook questions one by one. Finally, there is a terrific emphasis on being respectful and seeking to win the person rather than the argument.

Negatives: There are repeated advertisements and encouragements to buy and/or give away copies of Choosing Your Faith – sometimes within pages of each other. I thought this was overkill, especially if someone already shelled out money for the book, workbook and DVD. Also, due to constraints of the workbook, I can see how a non-Christian reading this might be put off by how seemingly easily the author sets Christianity as the truth and dismisses other faiths.

Summary: While the workbook can be used on its own, you’ll get more out of the training series if you read the book as well. I recommend starting with the book and then purchasing the workbook if you’re involved with a group that would like to dig deeper.

Rating: 4/5

This book was provided for review by David C. Cook. To learn more about or purchase this workbook on Amazon, click here. To learn more about the book it is based off of, click here.

Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.1 Corinthians 9:19-23

*If you’re not familiar with the love languages concept, it is based off of this book by Gary Chapman. The idea is that people tend to give and receive love by means of quality time, words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service and/or gift giving.

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