I plan to address Bible literacy/reading in a forthcoming book. A good piece from Russell Moore:
*Have you ever heard a sermon on a developing a theology of work? If you have, did Bezalel and his buddy, Oholiab, figure prominently?
*Have you ever heard an entire sermon on a theology of rest?
*How often do Christians ask what you are learning from God’s Word?
*With respect to the previous question, how often do you ask your Christian friends?
*Has anyone ever told you that a minor prophet was formative in their spiritual development?
*With respect to the major prophets, has anyone ever mentioned Ezekiel?
*Have you ever heard a sermon on the silence of God?
*Have you ever heard a sermon on biblical rewards?
*Have you ever heard a sermon on how to obey the two commandments of Jesus in Mt. 10:16: Being both shrewd as a serpent and innocent as a dove?
*Have you ever heard a sermon on not confusing the flag with the kingdom of God?
*Have you ever heard a sermon on how we ought to treat “foreigners,” especially as applied to refugees?
This is a terrific discussion of a very important word in the Old Testament:
…CHECK YOUR PULSE!
From Alan Jacobs:
As our cultural elites lose even the most elementary biblical literacy, this is going to happen more and more often: reading the Bible-saturated literature of the past and missing, not secondary and trivial illusions, but the entire point of stories and novels and plays and poems, and for that matter paintings and sculptures and musical compositions. The artistic past of the West will become incomprehensible, but — and this is the scary thing — no one will know that they’re misreading. Gross errors will be passed down from teacher to student, from scholar to reader, and it is difficult to imagine circumstances arising in which they can be corrected.
From Rabbi Evan Moffic:
Consistency is not just practical. It is sacred.
In the Talmud—the ancient book of Jewish laws and wisdom—the rabbis debate the most important verse of the Bible.
One rabbi says it is the Shema. We know that prayer. Jesus quoted it as well. Taken from Deuteronomy 6:4, it reads, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is one.”
This is a solid answer. Belief in one God is the foundation of the Jewish faith.
Another rabbi suggests, however, that Leviticus 19:18 is the better choice, Known as the golden rule, it reads, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It’s hard to argue with this answer.
Finally, another sage gives a third option. He quotes an obscure verse from the book of Exodus.
“Offer one in the morning and the other at twilight” (Exodus 29:39), he says, referring to the daily sacrifice offered by the priests every morning and every evening in the Jerusalem Temple.
What a odd choice! It’s like comparing a toaster’s instruction manual to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The third rabbi’s answer doesn’t even seem to be in the same league as the first two.
Yet, all the other rabbis quickly agreed with this final answer!
What were they thinking? They recognized, I think, that the little things are the big things.
It’s easy to be righteous every once in a while. It’s easy to say we believe in God…or promise to live by the golden rule.
It’s another thing to live our values every day. A rainbow is beautiful when it is in the sky. But it is fleeting, soon forgotten.
The sun, however, rises every morning and sets every evening. Like the motions of the sun, God guides us to make our faith constant and consistent.
Well, if you are, I highly recommend this gem. I am about midway through it, but what a gift for heart and mind! Thanks to Peter Coelho for mentioning it in some of his sermons. Beautifully written and wonderful insights.
Terrific interview with Tim Keller on teaching the Bible.
Interview took place at the Gospel Coalition conference.
Complementarianism is a staple of the Gospel Coalition.
Keller tells Nancy Guthrie that a woman leader in InterVarsity by the name of Barbara Boyd taught him how to study the Bible.
I am coming to this terrific book about five years after its publication, so no long review here. I will say it is an extremely well done piece of work, both witty and wise, entertaining and educational. You will learn a lot about Scripture and yourself by reading it!
American Christians are especially in dire need of reckoning with this fine book.