Bible Engagement Blog

Pensees and Questions


What will the shape of Bible engagement be in the years to come? Here are some pensees and questions for consideration:

  • Are there imaginative new ways to fuse the dramatic and creative arts with the Word? How can artists who respect the power of truth be encouraged to give creative expression and visual beauty to the Word?
  • We have migrated from Gutenberg to Google. How do we continue to facilitate connections with the Bible so that engagement becomes more than words and images on a screen?
  • Should the Bible be liberated from the constraints of individualism? What new formats might better facilitate communal Bible reading, exploration and reflection?
  • What types of formats, presentation styles or delivery systems of the Scriptures are best suited to communal hermeneutics?
  • How can Bible engagement tied to screen to screen connexity be fused with face to face community?
  • What can or should be done to invite non-Bible readers, both as individuals and in community, to engage with the Bible?
  • How can the profile of the Bible be raised both inside and outside the church?
  • Is there a way to develop online contextualised illustrated display Bibles as public exhibits of how we value the Scriptures?
  • Should we be seeking progressive ways to promote the primacy of the Scriptures? What are the descriptors for this generation that best communicate a high view of the Scriptures?
  • How might hypertext be better used to invite engagement with the Bible? How can we leverge the internet so that more people engage the Bible in ways that result in meaningful encounters with Christ and life transformations?
  • What are the best ways, in today’s context, to invite children and youth to hook up and interact with the Bible so that they ultimately choose to hold a biblical world view?
  • Concerning the Western tendency to compartmentalize and dichotomize: How can we better develop resources to help people engage the Bible with both their heads and their hearts?
  • How can the Bible be shared in real time with suitable symbols and prophetic metaphor?
  • What improvements need to be made with delivery systems so that the Bible is accessed in more multisensory, interactional and user-friendly formats?
  • Would it be helpful to publish a Bible that shows by its formatting what literary genre is primarily being used?
  • How do we teach/educate people to read the Scriptures in context? Is there a way to wean people from manipulating the Bible for selfish or skewed agendas?
  • What are the ways to improve reaching anyone, anywhere, anytime with the Bible?
  • How can we do the above so that favourable conditions are created for divine-human encounters?

What questions or pensees do you have about the shape of Bible engagement in the future?

© Scripture Union Canada 2013

Sign up by email to receive the latest notification for Jumpintotheword.

8 thoughts on “Pensees and Questions

  1. On my facebook page, the link to this post was immediately followed by a link to this post, ‘Six Essential Mobile Marketing Strategies for Nonprofits’ http://www.ssireview.org/blog/entry/six_essential_mobile_marketing_strategies_for_nonprofits
    written by a friend of mine. Seemed like a good pairing!

  2. A couple of thoughts/questions…
    1. More than images. I’m interested in the comment that fresh engagement needs to be more than images (as well as more than words). My fear has been in recent years that we get so caught up with the excitement of new media that we come to rely on a thin diet of pictures only. Of course, ultimately, effective engagement is incarnational – easy to say, I know, but how can we facilitate that?

    2. What might dementia teach us about Bible engagement? May seem a strange question! (I’m just embarking on some doctoral research into faith and dementia and the role of the Bible in that.) Evangelical thinking about Bible engagement is based on modern, rational thinking. However, people with dementia can’t participate in that – yet God’s word is for them too. If we say that the spiritual supersedes the merely cognitive, then what would the implications of that be for traditional evangelical hermeneutics and exegesis?

    • “Evangelical thinking about Bible engagement is based on modern, rational thinking.” I’m not going to disagree with that! However, I have just read a most interesting, informative, and challenging book – “To Life”, by Steve Maltz – that points out, among much else that, since Constantine (and even before) the Church has moved from its original Hebraic mind-set, to a Greek mind-set. The latter has to do with the very rational thinking to which you make reference – we learn ABOUT God. The former leads to KNOWING God. (apologies for the caps, but this is the only way, I think, by which I may emphasise!). I realised the truth of this when I remembered that I had studied Theology (the study OF God), but that no-one at any of the Universities I have been privileged to attend, even tried to teach me about KNOWING Him.

      I’m not totally sure how this fits in with your question about dementia sufferers, as my experience of such dear folk is that they have difficulty in recognising (knowing?!) even close relatives – usually to the distress of the latter. However, may it be that, at the spiritual level, they might be capable of a relationship from which we allegedly “compos mentis” folk are ‘barred’, by virtue of our Greek, reasoning, mindset?

      Every blessing on your research.


      • Many thanks – that’s helpful. I’m interested in the ideas around Greek v Hebraic thinking and how that has influenced our engagement with Bible – and implications for different ways of thinking about this in today’s world. Will look out for the book.


  3. Thanks for these good questions. I have been selling Bibles in my bookstore, House of James for 40 years and have seen sales drop dramatically in the last few years. Of course many have 20 free versions on their smart phones, but I think the issue may be larger than that. Somehow if you can get these questions to publishers encouraging them to think about them too would be good. They have the resources to do something about them.

  4. Thanks, Lawson, for your questions. Some are old, traditional questions but, because of that and the previous responses, need to be reconsidered again in our new contexts. And some are new, emerging now because of certain developments and changes. What seems important to me : Never stop to question and to be questioned, try an answer (which will be always temporary, partial and relative) and be opened to answers from others.

  5. So interesting look forward to coming back.

    • Hi Ramona,

      Couple of things over here in UK (aside from electronic medium ideas):

      1. ‘Godly play’ – has been / is big here (and in US) for children’s Bible engagement. I’m particularly interested in Bible engagement for those with dementia and now a Christian charity here has developed materials for godly play for people with dementia. I’m also wondering what this approach would look like for adults.

      2. Btw, dementia faith engagement raises questions for everyone about conservative approaches to scripture with its linear emphasis and hermeneutic approaches. Spirituality for those with cognitive impairment transcends mere understanding (Col 4:7). How does this illuminate evangelical perspectives on scripture? I’m exploring…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *