Reading Reflection:

Knowing Scripture, R.C. Sproul (InterVarsity Press, 1977) This book is an oldie but goodie (well, old for contemporary authorship that is). It is a great read on learning the basics of studying the Bible. But let’s look at the beginning problem:
It is important to note that the theme of this book is not how to read the Bible but how to study the Bible. There is a great deal of difference between reading and studying. Reading is something we can do in a leisurely way, something that can be done strictly for entertainment in a casual, cavalier manner. But study suggests labor, serious and diligent work. Here then, is the real problem of our negligence. We fail in our duty to study God’s Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy… If you have read the whole Bible, you are in a small minority of Christian people. If you have studied the Bible, you are in an even smaller minority. Isn’t it amazing that almost every American has an opinion to offer about the Bible, and yet so few have actually studied it (17-18)?
This might show my age, or lack of class, but does anyone out there remember Arsenio Hall’s, “Things That Make You Go Hmm...?” Sproul writes about the overwhelming majority of Christians he spoke with in groups haven’t read through the whole Bible.  This has to be a reflection of contemporary Christianity’s low view of biblical authority. Over thirty years later, has it changed? If a visitor came into your church, would they see that you value entertainment, good programs, and gourmet coffee higher than the Word of God? Are we passionately encouraging and equipping one another to be able to teach new believers the content of our faith? Do we truly believe the Bible is God’s Word?