From “No Bible” to “Know Bible” Part 1: Form Matters
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by Glenn Paauw
The Bible is a library of books that do things. These books instruct, inspire, reveal, convict, judge, comfort, heal, and save. This means that the Bible is not merely a collection of static words. The Bible is rather a divine speech act.
The Scriptures promise that they contain the power to change things, to actually move the creation in the direction of God’s ultimate purposes for the flourishing of life. For this promise to be fulfilled, however, the Scriptures must be received, understood, and lived on their own terms.
But what does this mean—“to receive the Bible on its own terms”? What does that look like?
Reading and living the Bible well—what we could call dynamic, stellar Bible engagement—happens when a community:
- has good access to a well-translated text presented in its natural literary forms,
- regularly feasts together on whole literary units understood in context,
- understands the overall story of the Bible as centered in Jesus, and
- accepts the invitation to take up its own role in God’s ongoing drama of restoration through the power of the Spirit.
Over the next six editions of this series we’ll be unpacking some of the major elements of this view of Bible engagement in order. Welcome to a whole new Bible, making a whole new kind of difference in our lives.