How do you use the Bible and Bible knowledge in your spiritual life? [OPEN MIC]

This weekend, I will be teaching the last class in my six-week Bible Survey class at my church. I want to end the class talking about how to use the Bible (and especially the knowledge gleaned from the class) in one’s personal (and corporate) spiritual life. How does the Bible actually function in a believer’s life to cultivate a dynamic, deep, and intimate relationship with Christ and the Holy Spirit? I have my own thoughts on this, but I want to hear from all of you. So here are some questions:

  • Do more Bible “facts” actually have a direct impact on your spiritual engagement with God? In other words, has studying the backgrounds of the Bible ever led to meeting God? How or why not?
  • What practical methods of immersing oneself in Scripture have been most fruitful to you spiritually?
  • How might people use the tools of Biblical Studies (commentaries, etc.) to treat the Bible formationally, rather than merely informationally?
  • For those that are oriented in such a way that they constantly want to know the context, background, history, date, etc. of Scripture, how have you been able to quiet all these questions in order to meet God?
  • Similarly, for those more “intellectually”-oriented, how have you been able to move beyond the intellect to engage other parts of yourself with Scripture?
  • How do we move beyond facts of Scripture to the Person of Scripture?
  • If (as I said in the first class, and other theologians have said) the Bible only “becomes” the Word of God as the Holy Spirit meets us during our engagement with it, what have been the most effective practical ways that you have invited the Holy Spirit into your Bible Study time?
  • In your experience, what have been some of the pitfalls in other approaches that are commonly endorsed by the contemporary church, or what are some of the realities that aren’t talked about often?
  • What would you say if you were me (haha)?

Feel free to respond below, in a Facebook comment, email, text, or phone call. Thanks.

Lent-erpretative Musings {a theological interlude} {3b}

This is the second part of a post in which I’m talking about some of my guttural objections to some of the ways I’m treating the Bible for my ongoing Lent series, and then my responses to my own doubts. [Part 1]


This would not at all have been in the minds of the original writers. The original writers, at most, it seems, would have seen themselves talking about how God simply “ordained” Jesus’ death since eternity past. They probably were not thinking about making a statement about a “slain” and suffering aspect to the nature of God.

My responses: There is no mainstream view of the Bible that I know of that holds that each of the biblical writers had the fullness of theological knowledge at their disposal. They were still human (and poor, uneducated humans at that!).
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The Best Wedding Scripture Reading Ever (Marriage Blessings, Andrew & Laura!)

One of my dearest friends got married two weeks ago. He had originally asked me to do this Scripture Reading at the wedding. But unfortunately, the drive from Philly to Newark, Ohio is a long one, and many variables can make for much delay, and indeed, this is what happened. Anyway, to add to the pain of this loss, this particular set of Scriptures that I was going to have the honor of reading just happens to be the best set of Scripture readings I’ve ever encountered for a wedding. No Song of Solomon or 1 Corinthians 13 here; just a proper and exegetically sound exploration of the sweeping story of God’s relationship with his own Bride, the Church. Therefore, I felt compelled to share these verses with you today.

Andrew and Laura, I pray that this feeble attempt at publicly participating in the celebration of your union communicates the love and grace of our Lord to your hearts.  May it bless you.

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