"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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  • « An Allegory | Main | Quote from Romans: The Righteous Shall Live by Faith »

    New Technology, Wandering Minds and Bible Reading Plans

    I can well remember hearing a preacher in the course of his sermon asking a series of questions. His first question was "how many of you believe the Bible is the word of God?"

    It was a Christian audience and so all raised their hands.

    Then he asked, "how many of you have read it?"

    Many raised their hands until he quickly added, "... all of it?"

    I could hear audible grumblings around me as many of those with raised hands now slowly lowered them. Some mumbled, "I've read most of it", or "I've read all the New Testament."

    One thing became very clear - only about 5% of the audience had actually read the Bible through.

    He then asked, "how many of you have read any other book?"

    All raised their hands once again.

    Then the preacher said, "do you see how inconsistent this is? Here you are, having read other books, but the book you claim to believe is inspired by God Himself, is not something you have read. What does this say about your belief in the Bible?"

    The silence that ensued was more than a little uncomfortable.

    He went on, "If you sincerely believe the Bible is the word of God, should you not have read it?"

    Again, he paused, allowing for the question to make its intended impact.

    Finally, he then said, "Here's my challenge - start today and read three chapters a day and four on Sundays and by this time next year you will have read the Bible through."

    I am sure there are better methods for reading through the Bible but the preacher's point is a good one. We as Christians need to be "people of the book." If there is one book we should read or should have read, it is the Bible. All Scripture is breathed out by God (2 Tim. 3:16) and it is unlike any other book out there. Job wrote that he treasured the words of God's mouth more than his portion of daily food (Job 23:12). He would rather go without food than miss time with the word of God. Can the same be said about us?

    Justin Taylor wrote the following: "I really believe in the value of not just reading, but hearing, God’s Word... In listening to an old lecture recently by J. I. Packer, he made the comment that it was not until after the 17th century (as far as he could tell) that people started doing silent prayers and reading as opposed to praying and reading out loud. For most evangelicals, silence represents the vast majority of our reading and praying. But I wonder if that’s to our detriment. One of the great enemies to Bible reading and praying is a wandering mind—and one of the great ways to make your mind wander is to do everything in your mind without involving your voice and ears! . . . Here’s something else to consider: the entire Bible on audio is usually about 75 hours (or 4500 minutes). If you commute to work 5 days a week, that’s about 260 days a year. And if it takes you, say, 17 minutes to commute each way to work—and if you listen to the Bible on audio during your drive each way—you’ll get through the entire Bible twice in a year."

    There are many good daily Bible reading plans. For those who would like the convenience of an online source there are now many options. New technology allows not only the reading of the Bible, but hearing it too. If you enjoy the ESV here are six different plans to choose from - each of which allow for each daily segment to be sent to your e-mail address or as a podcast here.

    Some might like to add to their Bible reading by going through reformed confessions each day. You can do so here. - JS

    Posted by John Samson on January 1, 2010 04:22 PM


    "Only about 5% of the audience had actually read the Bible through."


    Thanks for providing the links to some great Bible plans so the above percentage will expand into at least double figures.

    We are making progress.

    We really are without excuse.

    However, there is indication that some have been called to "the ministry of the Word and Prayer" while all of us "called" walk by Faith in His Word.

    While this article points to some lacking lasting effects that affect the soul, I would be a bit more stern on those called to the Ministry of the Word and Prayer as such:::>

    Act 6:2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, "It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.
    Act 6:3 Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.
    Act 6:4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word."


    1Ti 5:17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.
    1Ti 5:18 For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer deserves his wages."

    It is fair to say, seeing the privilege provided us to have our own Bible, one would think reading it was something to be of more importance than other books we read, plays and movie goings or even a sound education of high degrees. Giving ourselves to Bible reading, it seems, should be of more emphasis in our daily lives. At least this is the way Paul the Apostle taught it:::>

    Act 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

    I guess we shall reap our own sowing, then!

    In any event, thanks for the stats, John and the exhortation to read our Bibles and pray!

    This makes me want to read the Bible more than I do!

    In my humble opinion, it is more important to thoroughly read the Bible, than to read all of it. Better to read small portions and have time to reflect on it and pray over it, than to read a lot.
    The ancients read in a different way than we read going back and forth trough the text, we should learn to read and study and meditate like that.
    The cognitive dissonance in the live of most people believing the Bible to be the word of God is not so much in not having read it all but not living it.
    Also be careful of works righteousness, "I'm more spiritual because I've read the whole Bible, and because I still read three chapters a day."
    But the question is: what profit did you're reading do?
    And be assured: When you're hungry you will eat!

    Grace be to you.

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