Most of us think of Bible engagement as giving people a Bible,reading or studying the Bible, giving our loyalty to the Bible, or the work associated with Bible translation, linguistics and publishing. At Scripture Union Canada we believe Bible engagement should go beyond these transactional and cognitive elements to embrace and emphasise encounter, relationship, interaction, and transformation. That is, Bible engagement is the process whereby people are connected with the Bible such that they have meaningful encounters with Jesus Christ and their lives are progressively transformed in Him.
Bible engagement is about people meeting the One of whom the Bible speaks and being changed by His Story. For Bible engagement to occur, transformation, not information, should be the desired end. When transformation is the desired end then Bible engagement is first and foremost about letting the Bible have its way with us.
Roy Harrisville in “The Loss of Biblical Authority and Its Recovery”, in Reclaiming the Bible for the Church, eloquently makes the point that the Bible “will have a man’s or woman’s heart and soul, and if not, it will work despair . . . whoever you are, if you do not repent and believe the testimony laid down in this book concerning God and his Christ, it will judge you to inconsequence, render your reading of it, your interpretation of it, your preaching on it a comic spectacle to the world to which you believed you had to adjust it.”
The point is this: Bible engagement should be more than connecting with a book (even when it is described or thought of as the Book of books). Bible engagement should be a connection with the triune God’s Story in a way in which a person’s or communities’ story intersects with, is changed by, and finds its place in the Story.
© Copyright Scripture Union Canada, 2011