Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Why Bible Studies Don't Transform Us

Posted by Christine Pack

In the very excellent article, Why Bible Studies Don't Transform Us, Jen Wilkin of The Gospel Coalition gives several reasons to explain how people can go wrong in their Bible studies. Among the reasons given:
Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean;
And so betwixt them both, they licked the platter clean.
Taking the Xanax approach to Bible study (treating the Bible as if its sole purpose is to make us feel better through the application of verses); 
Treating the Bible like a Magic 8 Ball (thinking of a question or problem, then opening the Bible to a random verse to see how it applies to your situation); 
The Jack Sprat approach to Bible study (taking a "picky" approach to what we will - or won't - study).
This article makes a compelling case for something many churches today are neglecting to do, and that is teach their members how to study the Bible line by line, verse by verse. As Paul's second letter to Timothy states: "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17) It is, after all, through studying God's word in whole, and in context, and not skipping the hard parts or the complex parts, that, over time, we are able correctly "handle the word of truth" (2 Tim 2:15) and are not "tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine" (Eph 4:14) that blows through the church. In case you weren't already a firm believer in expository teaching and preaching, this article might make you a believer.

The entire article can be read here.