Obviously True Statement for Christians: It is good to read the Bible.
Obvious Corresponding Question We Virtually Never Ask: Why?
The lack of any but the most simplistic of answers to that question costs us tremendously. Even though the question is rarely asked, if we think about the answers that are implied in what we’ve been taught about the Bible, we probably come up with some responses which are the religious equivalents of a parent's, "because I told you so." (I've used that line with my kids, and if you have too, you know how ineffective and mutually unsatisfying it is––and if we're honest, "ineffective and mutually unsatisfying" may describe much of our experience with the Bible.)
Why is it good to read the Bible? Even if the question has never occurred to us, we already have an answer to it hidden somewhere in our minds, and that answer inevitably shapes the ways we read it. I see a few different ways this could go:
One strong possibility is that our answer shapes the way we don't read it. If the answer in our minds is anything along the lines of God or our religious leaders saying “because I told you so,” (the gentler-sounding religious translation of which might be something like a simple, “because it’s God’s Word”), we’ll end up thinking that reading the Bible is good and important while also rarely ever reading it. That tension itself will cause us to find ways to try to get by while living in a prolonged spiritual numbness.Read More