Thursday, February 18, 2010

Eat This Book: Can You Handle the Bible?

This is a text that reveals the sovereign God in being and action.  It does not flatter us, it does not seek to please us.  We enter this text to meet God as he reveals himself, not to look for truth or history or morals that we can use for ourselves.  . . .We do not read the Bible in order to find out how to get God into our lives, get him to participate in our lives.  That's getting it backward.

As we cultivate a participatory mind-set in relation to our bibles, we need a complete renovation of our imaginations.  We are accustomed to thinking of the biblical world as smaller than the secular world.  Tell-tale phrases give us away.  We talk of "making the Bible relevant to the world," as if the world is the fundamental reality and the Bible something that is going to  help it or fix it.  We talk of "fitting the Bible into our lives" or "making room in our day for the Bible," as if the Bible is something that we can add on to or squeeze into our already full lives.

. . ."Biblical" does not mean cobbling texts together to prove or substantiate some dogma or practice that we have landed on.  Rather, it signals an opening up into what "no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, [but] what God . . . has revealed to us through the spirit" (1 Cor. 2:9-10)

What we must never be encouraged to do . . . is to force Scripture to fit our experience.  Our experience is too small; it's like trying to put the ocean into a thimble.  What we want is to fit into the world revealed by Scripture, to swim in this vast ocean.

~Eugene Peterson


  1. As I was driving back to work this afternoon, I was reflecting on God's Word and learning to study his Word and how fortunate I am to have such easy access to His Word. Then this came to my mind - the Bible tells us that we are to be Christ like - to become Christ. As I am learning through this study, EVERY dot, jot, has a meaning - as should my life. I am grieved thinking about the countless, careless actions I have taken - such as eye rolling behind someone, or about someone, making faces behind someone's back, words spoken just to be talking, etc.; I asked for God's forgiveness. As His Word, Every part of it, has meaning - may my life also.
    This is going to be an exciting journey - and a revealing one - in God's Word and in myself.
    Join the journey - best decision you will ever make!
    Felicia Powers

  2. Beautiful words, Felicia. They are provoking personal reflection for me, as well...