Before work today, I was reading a book about the Christian life, and it discussed the importance of the Bible. Now, I’ve always been a big fan of the Bible, and I take it very seriously. You can’t have a strong relationship with Jesus without reading the Bible and living it out.
Sadly, though, I think a lot of Christians get bored with the Bible because it becomes a whole lot of knowledge to them and not a real-life encounter. As down-to-earth Christian Alan Hirsch once said, “People are not convinced by teaching but by encounter.” That’s spot on.
You can tell me you love me, but if I don’t encounter that, if I don’t see actions following words, or practice following teaching, then something’s wrong. It doesn’t add up.
But that’s why the Bible’s meant to encounter you, not lecture you.
“One of the biases we bring to the Bible, and one that blocks the possibility of true conversation, is the assumption that we read it. We are the active party. The Jewish approach to Scriptures is that we don’t read the Bible but rather that it reads us! Our standard practice is to assume we are its interpreter and therefore the arbiter of its meaning. Jewish approaches reverse this: we are not the interpreter, but rather it is the Torah that interprets us. This is because it is God who addresses us in Scripture; hence the idea of revelation that is so important to a biblical worldview. ‘It is not so much that we raise questions about him, but that he raises questions of us.'” – Alan Hirsch and Mike Frost
This is why I like to encourage myself and others to simply read the Bible instead of lecturing back and forth about Jesus. Because I firmly believe that God raises questions in our life, and God’s Word has the power to transform our lives.