Bible reading is at an all-time low while Bible study aids are at an all-time high. Never has there been more available for the Bible reader than there is today: Bible atlases, Bible commentaries, Bible concordances – both in books and online – and Bible reading guides. Yet, the average Christian has never read the Bible from cover to cover, nor does the average Christian read the Bible daily.
I got the Neue Quarterly in the mail a couple days ago. First off, LOVE THAT DESIGN. Secondly, it seems to have a theme of Bible-reading. LOVE IT!!! Just flipping through right now, but the above quote is from an article by Scot McKnight entitled, “Reading the Bible with Magic Eyes.”
When we pick up the Bible with nothing more in our quest than a “Tell me what to do!” reading of the Bible, we make a big mistake. Two things come to mind: first, we tend to make God nothing more than a lawgiver and second, we tend to become legalists.
Intertwined in the commands of the Bible are lots of blessings and lots of promises, and we need these words of assurance from God. But some open the Bible with only one intent: “Tell me something nice!” …In the midst of suffering and tragedy and death, we might seek for blessings and promises, but we need to know that the Bible is more than a Hallmark calendar…
Some people treat the Bible like an inkblot: the reader projects onto the Bible whatever he or she wants to see. Democrats see Jesus as a Democrat. Republicans see Jesus as a Republican. Instead of seeing Jesus as Jesus, a first-century Galilean Jew, they see a Jesus of their own making.
Well anyway, enough of them quotes. The rest of the article is quite good, too. It illuminates some of the errors we make when we elevate systematic theology or try to pick one author in the Bible and make the rest of the Bible conform (like Jesus or Paul). His conclusion is basically to read the Bible with “Magic Eyes.” The story should shape us, and we can only do that by entering into it. Engaging fully. We’re a part of the text, it affects how we live, that kinda thing.
I think I heard this guy speak once at a Today’s Teen conference. Or I watched a vid online. Can’t remember. Anyway, he really is great. He has a book. I think I should purchase it.