As I continue in seminary I’m increasingly aware of the need to apply the things I’m learning in the Church. Seminary teaches one how to read and understand the Bible, and the seminary library is full of thousands of books on how to do this. But there isn’t much point in all these resources if no one is even reading the Bible. Charles Spurgeon said “I can find ten men who will die for the Bible for every one who will read it!” That was true in his day and it seems to be true in this day. I’m not saying this to criticize those who aren’t reading the Bible often, people are busy and they will only do things if they think there is an actual point. It’s not like people in seminary read the Bible either (too busy reading other things). This post is my attempt to explain why reading the Bible is a worthwhile use of our time.
- The Bible is God’s word to us. Although I believe that God still speaks in various ways today, the Bible is the only sure, authoritative for all, guidance we have from him.
- The Bible answers the serpent’s “did God really say?” question. As our culture becomes less and less Christian, we need something to anchor us. The Church in America is, I fear, going to split more and more over this question in the coming years.
- Reading the Bible reshapes us into who God wants us to be. Everything in life shapes our desires and beliefs. This is a really important point to understand. If we aren’t being shaped by the Bible we are being shaped by ads and tv shows and music and school and the mall. Most people spend less than 2% of their week in church; that isn’t enough time to shape us into God’s likeness.
- The Bible tells us what God is like. In our post-modern, ‘make up your own truth’ world it is more important than ever to learn concretely about God from the Bible. Loving God is good, but if you don’t much about him who exactly are you loving?
- The Bible tells us about the story that we are in – creation, fall, redemption, consummation. Knowing our place in the story helps give meaning to our lives.
- Most of what we know about God, and most of the story, is found in the OT so we have to read that part too.