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(13) Strategies 2 & 3

Today, we continue with 2 more of the 5 strategies that Bible readers should seriously embrace to help create a mindset for entering into conversation with biblical authors through their texts. 2. Keep it Simple Especially starting out, it is a good idea to aim at light conversation. Just like ...

(12) Strategy 1

How do we consciously and strategically create a mindset for entering into conversation with biblical authors through their texts? That's our main question in this sub-series of 4 posts. Today, we'll take a head-on look at the biggest pitfall Bible readers fall right into—a pitfall that stops con...

(11) Preparation

You got up late this morning after texting too long last night with your best friend about some random issue. Consequently, the kids and the dog were acting up this morning. Traffic was heavy and you spilled your coffee. You arrive at your interview five minutes late. “Sorry, sorry!” You feel flu...

(10) 3-D Bible Reading

If you want to get depressed, go look up the "Flat Bible Believers" Facebook page. Its very existence helps to demonstrate that people read the Bible every which way they can, and every which way that makes them happy and that plays into their personal agendas. For those who crave that kind of th...

(9) The Self and DBS

In my previous post, I talked about self disciplines (or disciplines for the self) as specialty tools, and I noted that these tools are designed to do some things, but not other things. I especially noted that they are not designed to examine texts; they focus on one's own self. Here I want to il...

(8) Specialty Tools

"You just think everybody has to become a scholar to read the Bible!"  Occasionally, some feel uneasy with what I’m saying in the previous posts, and some even get offended by it, as if I don’t understand the aims or interests of the various contemplative disciplines, or as if I am denying the de...

(7) Methods for the Self

We certainly need to read the Bible for personal and lofty reasons, in search of spiritual formation. As with textual interests, there are methods that are applied to the self.[1]   Back in post #4, I introduced a table of "methods." Now, we'll expand and revise that table. These methods, when ap...

(6) Text: Methods, Highs and Lows

Frankly, the basics are pretty straightforward:  think of every biblical text as a friend, and then treat your friend the way you want to be treated. Start by listening to your friend and don't keep interrupting.  Eventually, you can talk about yourself.  But don't start there.   When we want to...

(5) Text: The Prime Directive

“What does Bible study even mean?” Strange as that may sound, not everything that calls itself “Bible Study” is. What It's Not Unfortunately, this phrase gets attached to just about everything:   topical studies that bounce from text to text; small groups that barely crack open a Bible; pa...

(4) Text: Initial Notes on Methods

It is not in spite of, but because of our love for our ancient, precious biblical texts, that we, with energy, seek out how to read them. We respect methods developed over centuries, and they are not the painful things that some imagine or accuse them of being; they are blessings from God that ma...