Twelve Theses on Reading the Bible

1.    Unless we read the Bible to hear and meet God, we read it wrong.

2.    Unless we read the Bible to know Christ in whom we see the face of God, we read it wrong.

3.    Unless we invite the Spirit to read us through the Bible as much as we do reading it, we read it wrong.

4.    Unless we read all the Bible, including the parts we don’t like or want to reject, as God’s Word to us, we read it wrong.

5.    Unless we close our time reading the Bible with the prayer, “What can I do today, Lord, to obey this word?” we read it wrong.

6.    If we never find anything in the Bible that challenges what we think or calls us to do other than we presently do, we are reading it wrong.

7.    If we do not find ourselves impelled to greater love of God and neighbor, we read it wrong.                                                                                                          

8.    If we think the Bible is written to us and is not an ancient collection of texts far distant from us and alien to us in culture, ideas, literary conventions, and religious expressions that we have to work hard to understand, we will never hear the Word that is in it for us.

9.    If we think we can understand the Bible apart from reading it together in a community of faith, we read it wrong.

10. If we think we can read the Bible rightly apart from the guidance of the great ecumenical creeds (Apostle’s, Nicene, Chalcedon, Athanasian), we read it wrong.

11. Unless we find the Bible more about daily loving others than daily living right ourselves, we read it wrong.

12. If we do not find ourselves becoming odd and alien to the priorities, passions, and practices of our world, we read it wrong.


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