Memoirs of the Way Home: Ezra and Nehemiah as a Call to Conversion is a fascinating study. The title contains all of the clues to the beauty of the work, but I overlooked it, as we modern readers tend to do with titles. This is a bible study, but it is not a commentary, nor is it a classic exposition of Ezra and Nehemiah. Instead Memoirs is a study of conversion. It is a unique study of the process in which God calls His people, brings us home and makes us His people. The study is set in the history of Ezra and Nehemiah against the backdrop of the nation of Israel returning to the promised land after exile. Gerald Bilkes uses the inspired narrative to point us to the journey of conversion.
Bilkes’ style is conversational and pastoral, almost in a Matthew Henry like style. Each chapter is roughly ten pages with a series of study questions at the end, making it an approachable study for a new believer or someone new to the discipline of bible study. Having said that, the author assumes a general knowledge of scripture as he writes, referencing “well known” bible narratives like Paul’s conversion, and the parable of the Prodigal Son assuming the reader would be familiar with at least the broad strokes of the tales. If used for a new believer study it would need to either be lead by a mature believer who could fill in any gaps and explain those stories as they came up. I think this would be an excellent study for people familiar with the “Sunday school” answers, but having never explored the intricacies of their own conversion and call to Christ.
I received no compensation for this post. I was provided an electronic edition for the purpose of review. I was not required to provide a positive one. I keep a disclosure statement here.