It is strange and shameful that many in our Western culture that claim to be Christians, believe, even to the point of being dogmatic, in a book that they have never read. Still more dangerous and self-deceptive is that they will base their eternal destiny on partial, minute, and out-of-context passages from this same book. The descent of deception continues when these “believers” carelessly share opinions and assumptions with others about the issues of life while claiming the authority of the book they have not read as the basis for their conversations, arguments, and proclamations.
When it comes to reading the Scriptures in its entirety, certain questions begin to percolate. How does one find an “entry point” into the vast layout of the sixty six books that make up the complete revelation? Are there preferred places to begin the journey? How do we understand the Bible on its own terms and avoid diminishing and deconstructing it into personal agendas? What is involved in the evolution of reading from discipline to desire to ultimately delighting in the Word? Is an effectual study of the Word an individual matter, a group thing, or both? Is there some “secret sauce” to making the Bible the foundation of our lives?
It is imperative that we understand that the pursuit of truth found in the Bible will be a lifelong pilgrimage. We must commit our hearts to truth so that we may be convinced of its validity and authenticity, and be confident in the claims it has for our lives and our eternal destiny. Most Christ-followers who delight in God’s Word will point to two aspects that helped them get started. First, they discovered another believer who genuinely loved the Word and received from them some direction and encouragement. Next, they established a habit of place and time to study when at all possible.
So what connections of truth and interpretation can be expected to emerge to one who commits themselves to get into the Bible consistently? This will be explored in the next post.