Reading the Bible When You Have No Time

busyModern life is busy and is predicated on busyness. You are not really successful or even really living unless you are busy. Between work, family, children, hobbies, church, television, time slips through our fingertips and we wonder where it has gone. So when pastors (like myself) say, “You need to be reading your Bible daily,” we can feel the collective eye roll and thoughts like this flashing across people’s mind: “Yeah, like I can fit that in too! Between Jimmy’s basketball practice, my doctor’s appointments, Suzy’s piano lessons, I will magically pull some time out of my hat in order to read my Bible.” Continue reading “Reading the Bible When You Have No Time”

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Helpful Hints: Praying the Bible

One of the greatest blessings of the modern world is that we have so many good Christian books to read to help you grow as a Christian. This blessing can also be a curse; sometimes we go to the fountain of Christian books and find that it is grown over with algae and turned bitter and harmful; pernicious and unhelpful books have entered the fountain and corrupted it. How do we discern the good and helpful books from the harmful ones? Continue reading “Helpful Hints: Praying the Bible”

The Worst Advice I Received On Studying The Bible

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“Don’t you be using no study Bible, ya hear!”

During college, I received some terrible advice about reading the Bible. The advice was this: “Read only your Bible and nothing else. You do not need to read what anyone else has said about the Bible. You don’t need commentaries or study Bibles. Just read your Bible.” These statements sound very pious and in most Protestant ears, they are quite laudable. The Bible is our only authority for life and doctrine after all. But this advice is unsound and leads to dangerous ends. The reasons why this is a dangerous teaching is: Continue reading “The Worst Advice I Received On Studying The Bible”

How (Not) to Read the Old Testament

The Old Testament is filled with stories we know, or are at least vaguely familiar with. Adam and Eve. Noah and the Ark (and all of those animals). David and Goliath. Jonah and the Whale. We know the plot lines, the conflict, the endings. We know these stories. We learned them in Sunday School or through Grandma or Mom and Dad or a friend or just through cultural osmosis. There is a danger when we approach these stories that we know. The danger is that we will read them and many other portions of the Old Testament (and even the New Testament) and we moralize them. Continue reading “How (Not) to Read the Old Testament”