Downers Grove: IVP, 2014, 144 pp., $10.24
Whitney Kuniholm has created a 10-week curriculum in The Essential Question: How You Can Make a Difference for God? that walks through the Book of Acts. Each week is subdivided into five separate devotionals that include discussion questions intended for use in a group context. At the beginning of the study, Kuniholm says this book must be used alongside the Bible and needs to be used in a group context. The church is a body, and spiritual growth is best accomplished in a communal context. If you have a small group that is looking for a lay-level study through the Book of Acts, The Essential Question would serve you well. The questions and applications are practical and relevant. The 50 devotionals are filled with wonderful (albeit a bit dated) stories. The highlight for me was found in the appendices of the book. Kuniholm provides a journal to help participants record insights and reflections on the Book of Acts as they make their journeys. The other appendix is an Apologia, which provides readers with a mechanism to develop a defense of their theological convictions as they study the early church. Persecution forced members of the early church to articulate and stand firm in their convictions. Those who claim Christ today may not face the same persecution, but need to develop and articulate their convictions. The Essential Question assists that process.