This past month I have been approaching my daily personal Bible study differently. I haven't been studying. At least, not the way I've grown accustomed to studying. As a Biblical studies major, I've been trained to examine commentary and analyze Greek words. I've been realizing how much this has sucked the desire for God's Word out of me. It lost its life and dynamic. It was too objective. The God who wrote it even seemed dead.
This past month I've been reading Genesis. At first I consulted commentary on it, but then I noticed that I was reading more commentary than I was actually reading the biblical text. I started reading it. Really reading it. No supplements. It's helped me renew my awe and longing for it. The Bible is finally quenching my thirst once again.
I remember sitting in a class at the beginning of last spring semester, wondering what on earth I was doing there. The whole course was dedicated to John Wesley and his interpretation of the Bible. I couldn't believe it. I was learning about John Wesley instead of Jesus. We watched an introductory movie to his life, and a phrase caught me off guard. "Give me the Book!" the actor quoted him. "At all costs, give me the Book!" This simple phrase prompted me to immediately drop the course and change my major.
But I think I'm just now finally starting to understand this phrase. New commentary is constantly being written. I even helped one of my profs write one this summer. But is it really needed? Do we really need more interpretations about the Bible? Do we really need more Christian books telling us how to live and taking the place of our Bible reading?
I'm sorry, but Rob Bell is not the vicar of Christ. Shane Claiborne's words are not infallible. Even Max Lucado, Donald Miller, and C.S. Lewis' words were not directly inspired by God.
Why do we think that these books are more exciting? That Claiborne is some kind of radical fundamental when it was Christ who rebelled against the Hebrew traditions of the day? Hung out with prostitutes and drunks? Even claimed to be God Himself?
If the Bible is static and no longer relevant, then it is the dead words of a dead God.