Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Why read the bible?

I was reading blog posts about the recent 2011 Ligonier National Conference the other day when I stumbled across the transcript of the Q and A session with R.C. Sproul and John Piper. The question was, "What does it look like for a believer to treasure the holiness of God?" Part of Sproul's response:

"Being on a quest to know God must be a passion, not something we just do in our spare time. That desire takes us every time to the Word of God.
As a philosophy major, my professors emphasized the acquisition of critical reading skills. That is a worthy enterprise. But that does not happen when I read the Scripture. I have to read it carefully, but it criticizes me. I can’t argue against it. It is wonderful because it is saving me, putting salve on my wounds. I am meeting God. He is revealing His mind and heart to me in the Word of God. You have to immerse yourself in the Word."

Whenever I read the bible in the past, the reading wasn't from a desire to read God's revelation to us nor was the reading a product of my wanting to know God; it was because I felt like that was the right thing to do and that I had to do it. I really didn't want to read the bible then. It's not that I hated it, I just wasn't into it. When you're not into something, you won't want to read about it. Sproul makes a very excellent point when he said that being on a quest to know God must be a passion. He's exactly right. When I want to know about something, it's from a desire to know that something.

I don't blame people when they don't want to read the Bible, because when you're not interested in something, then you're not going to study it, are you? Generally, folks that really "wear out" their Bible are those that have a passion to know God. If the passion isn't there, then you're not going to study the Bible, much like if you don't have a passion for history, you're not going to read a history book. However, if you do have a desire to know about God, then the best thing you can do is read the Bible. It's just like Sproul said, "...it is saving me. putting salve on my wounds. I am meeting God. He is revealing His mind and heart to me in the Word of God."

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