Thursday, August 5, 2010

Super Size Me

I don't think anyone needs to read the Bible.  I mean, why do all that hard work when you can go purchase the latest pop-Christianity non-fiction off the shelf at Lifeway?  It's great-- I don't have to do the math-- it's all done for me right there in those pages.  And there's plenty of "Word" in them-- they quote Bible verses and passages.  Then I can argue with friends about what the Greek says in this passage or that, because an NFL Coach wrote about it and already did the research!  Piece of cake.  Or french fries.

Awhile back, I wrote a blog about the importance of not just reading your Bible, but studying it.  And that directive is for me as much for anyone else.  I am amazed that when I've done some interviews, the interviewer is surprised that I know this verse or that verse.  What I don't understand is Disciples (or those that claim they are) who's only foray into the Word is on Sunday Morning for the verse of the sermon.  Or even worse, they read a verse in a John Eldredge book.  When has non-fiction contemporary apologists become the main feeding source for Christians?

Case in point.  A friend has been wrestling with some issues.  We talk for awhile.  Come to find out, the issues were brought out by a book.  So instead of tearing into the Bible and studying-- researching the original Greek, reading the verse and the context around it, and all the things Disciples (who have discipline), she relies solely on what this one person's interpretation.  She had started by claiming that she was reading the Bible.  When in actuality, she read the verse, printed in this book, completely out of context and pushed with the agenda of the writer.

For me, as a Disciple, I find it a daily struggle-- in my laziness, I'd much rather have people just tell me what God is saying.  I don't want to do the work myself.  I look to my mentor, my wife, my pastor for the shortcut, for them to do the math for me.  It's wrong.  I'll say it again, my Disciple friend, it's WRONG.

Do the work.  Get into the Word and out of the Zondervan book of the month club.  There's nothing wrong with Eldredge, Beth Moore or Crabb or even Warren (that pained me to write) writing a book.  What's wrong is when I or you use the book as a substitute for studying the Bible.

For those Disciples who study the whole Bible, they begin to get a more accurate feel for the character of God.  It's harder to be led astray.  It's easier to find some life answers.  For those who diet on the fast food of modern day apologetics, you'll spiritual die.  Even if you "super-size" your order.  One guy, with devastation all over his life, was reading five different books.  Here was a man eating jumbo orders of fast food and couldn't see why his body was dying.

The same goes for my movies, or this blog.  If the only Romans you're devouring is what I wrote about, you'll starve to death.

The Word.  It's not just for breakfast.

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