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Twenty Thought-Provoking Comments On Bible Engagement

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In no particular order, here are twenty thought-provoking comments on Bible engagement:

– “For most Christians in the First World the Bible remains a closed book, a Pandora’s Box of isolated and unrelated proof texts, or what is worse – an individualistic invitation to hang out with a cool dude called Jesus. There have to be better reasons for reading, performing and reciting the Scriptures than these.” Colin Greene & Martin Robinson, Metavista: Bible, Church and Mission in an Age of Imagination

– “The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.” Søren Kierkegaard, Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard

– “We read Scripture in order to be refreshed in our memory and understanding of the story within which we ourselves are actors, to be reminded where it has come from and where it is going to, and hence what our own part within it ought to be.” N.T. Wright, Scripture and the Authority of God: How to Read the Bible Today

– “One cannot simply read the Bible, like other books. One must be prepared really to enquire of it. Only thus will it reveal itself. Only if we expect from it the ultimate answer, shall we receive it. That is because in the Bible God speaks to us. And one cannot simply think about God in one’s own strength, one has to inquire of him. Only if we seek him, will he answer us.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Reading the Bible

– “We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on His Word spiritual strength for labour in his service.” Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

– “God did not give the Bible so we could master him or it; God gave the Bible so we could live it, so we could be mastered by it. The moment we think we’ve mastered it, we have failed to be readers of the Bible.” Scot McKnight, The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible

– “The Bible was composed in such a way that as beginners mature, its meaning grows with them.” Augustine of Hippo, Confessions

– “The Bible is the greatest of all books; to study it is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.” Charles C. Ryrie, Ryrie Study Bible

– “I think the greatest weakness in the church today is that almost no one believes that God invests His power in the Bible. Everyone is looking for power in a program, in a methodology, in a technique, in anything and everything but that in which God has placed it – His Word.” R.C. Sproul, The Prayer of the Lord

– “The soul can do without everything except the word of God, without which none at all of its wants are provided for.” Martin Luther, On Christian Liberty

– “When we submit our lives to what we read in Scripture, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories but our stories in God’s. God is the larger context and plot in which our stories find themselves.” Eugene H. Peterson, Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading

– “Happy is that man who possesses a Bible! Happier still is he who reads it! Happiest of all is he who not only reads it, but obeys it, and makes it the rule of his faith and practice!” J.C. Ryle, Bible Reading

– “Too many of God’s people don’t know God’s Word, don’t really believe God’s Word or don’t do God’s Word.” Rick Warren, 40 Days in the Word

– “And so the test of whether or not we have really gotten the point of the Bible would then be the quality of love that we show.” Richard J. Foster, Life with God: Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation

– “To our shame, we have hungered to be masters of the Word much more than we have hungered to be mastered by it.” D.A. Carson, Collected Writings on Scripture

– “Reading God’s Word and meditating on its truth will have a purifying effect upon your mind and heart, and will be demonstrated in your life. Let nothing take the place of this daily privilege.” Billy Graham, The Heaven Answer Book

– “It is Christ Himself, not the Bible, who is the true Word of God. The Bible, read in the right spirit and with the guidance of good teachers, will bring us to Him.” C.S. Lewis, Letters of C.S. Lewis

– “The Bible is the Word of God because in it Jesus, the Word incarnate, comes to us. Any who read the Bible and somehow do not find Jesus in it, have not encountered the Word of God.” Justo L. Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity

– “It would be a pity if, in a desire (rightly) to treat the Bible as more than a book, we ended up treating it as less than a book by not permitting it the range and use of language, order, and figures of speech that are (or ought to be) familiar to us from our ordinary experience of conversation and reading.” John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science 

– “The truly wise man is he who believes the Bible against the opinion of any man. If the Bible says one thing, and any body of men says another, the wise man will decide, ‘This book is the Word of Him who cannot lie’.” R.A. Torrey, Ten Reasons I Believe the Bible is the Word of God

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5

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