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Bible Engagement Blog

Working Definitions of Bible Engagement

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In ongoing efforts to understand the nature and scope of Bible engagement, researchers and practitioners at the recent Bible Research Summit drafted the following three working definitions:

1. Bible engagement is encountering God/Jesus through a process/lifestyle of quality interaction in/with the Story as part of a lifestyle of living in and living out of the Story so that individuals and communities are transformed. [This is a cyclical process. That is, individuals and communities continuously reengage/encounter God/Jesus through a process/lifestyle of quality interaction in/with the Story as part of a lifestyle of living in and out of the Story].

2. Bible engagement occurs when the big Story of God/Jesus/humanity, motivated by its authority or its potential relevance (passion vs. scepticism), occasionally or through some habitual practice, which includes various media (e.g. reading, audio, groups, etc.) that contain Scripture content and an application of/resulting in a response to the Word which cultivates transformation in individuals and communities.

3. Bible engagement occurs when circumstances or posture inspired by the Holy Spirit combine to create desire to discover/explore the story of how God engages humanity through habitual seeking of the Word through various mediums (individual, group, audio, visual, written) resulting in transformation that is Christocentric/Christ-like.

Taken together, and simply stated, the three definitions identify Bible engagement as:

An encounter with God/Jesus

that is a motivated/inspired interaction with God’s Story

that includes various media

that involves an individual or communal activity/response/application

that cultivates/results in transformation

 

* The Bible Research Summit was hosted by the American Bible Society

* The goal of the Summit was to discuss the history, current practices and future needs of measuring Bible engagement

* The researchers and practitioners were:

Chris Armas – Code for the Kingdom

Lizette Beard – LifeWay Research

Steven Bird – Taylor University

Chad Causey – OneHope

Mark Forshaw – Global Scripture Impact

David Kinnaman – Barna Group

Nancy Lewis – REVEAL

Jason Malec – American Bible Society

Lawson Murray – Scripture Union

Pam Ovwigo – Center for Bible Engagement

Glenn Paauw – Biblica

Tyler Prieb – OneHope

Angela Rogers – Connection Media

 

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5

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One thought on “Working Definitions of Bible Engagement

  1. my comments/observations are in []

    1. Bible engagement is encountering God/Jesus
    [why no Holy Spirit?]
    through a process/lifestyle of quality interaction in/with the Story as part of a
    [process/ – just to be consistent with the above use]
    lifestyle of living in and living out of the Story so that individuals and communities are transformed.

    2. Bible engagement occurs when the big Story of God/Jesus/humanity
    [this makes it sound like humanity is the 3rd person of the Trinity],
    motivated by its
    [what is it referring back to… I think you mean “the Big Story” but with the “/” does it not then refer to all three?]
    authority or its potential relevance (passion vs. scepticism), occasionally or through some habitual practice, which includes various media (e.g. reading, audio, groups, etc.) that contain Scripture content
    [does this lessen Bible engagement? There are some pretty weak devotional materials that “contain Scripture content”]
    and an application of/resulting in a response to the Word which cultivates transformation in individuals and communities.

    3. Bible engagement occurs when circumstances or posture
    [is this the best word, most people will thinking what difference will sitting or standing make :-)]
    inspired by the Holy Spirit combine to create desire to discover/explore the story of how God engages humanity through habitual seeking of the Word through various mediums (individual, group, audio, visual, written) resulting in transformation that is Christocentric/Christ-like.

    [Having made those comments – I think the last statement is pretty good – blessings]

    Taken together, and simply stated, the three definitions identify Bible engagement as:
    An encounter with God/Jesus [/Holy Spirit]
    that is a motivated/inspired interaction with God’s Story
    that [may] includes various media
    that involves an individual or communal activity/response/application
    that cultivates/results in transformation

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