Friday, February 22, 2013

Slow Bible - Part 3 of 3

We’ve been looking at the concept of ‘Slow Bible’ over the last few weeks. Firstly, rather than attempting to read through the Bible in a year, tackle 2 to 4 books of the Bible and read them in conversation with some friends. Secondly, invite an expert into the conversation. The expert won’t actually be there in the room or cafe, but you can invite someone like N.T. Wright into the conversation by taking on one of his For Everyone commentaries. The goal is better comprehension and application to life. Another good series is the NIV Application Commentary, like Wright’s For Everyone series, the biblical text is offered and then followed up with explanation and potential application to life. This of course involves a little more reading, hence ‘slow Bible’ rather than Bible-in-a-year but will lead to great discussions with your friends. Two more thoughts...


Thirdly, sometimes it’s helpful to step back and take a ‘bird’s eye view’ at things. This can be helpful when it comes to the bible. The Drama of Scripture by C.G. Bartholomew and M.W. Goheen is a fantastic introduction to the big story of the Bible. It breaks the big story of the bible into six acts with an interlude between acts 3 and 4 and will really help you to understand what the Biblical narrative is all about. Scot McKnight also has a book called The King Jesus Gospel. This book offers a bird’s eye view of the life of Jesus and the significance of Jesus for humanity. A must read.

Fourthly and finally, Christians believe that the Bible is a unique revelation of God to humankind. It’s a book like no other and is understood to be inspired by God (the various authors wrote in their own cultural context and language but they wrote under the inspiration of God); infallible (the Bible is not liable to deceive - when understood and interpreted correctly is trustworthy); and authoritative (the teaching, instruction and big story of the Bible is intended to inform and shape how we live our lives). We believe that even as the authors were inspired by God to write, God can inspire the readers as they read. This doesn’t mean the Bible says whatever we want it to say, but rather, when we engage in due diligence as readers it is amazing how God will speak into our hearts and lives today.

Make 2013 the year when you engage in some ‘slow’ Bible reading and be inspired as God speaks into your world.

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