Fear Of Whales

Tales of a reluctant minister

Anybody Know of a Bible Study Where we Actually Study the Bible?

with 2 comments

I can’t find one. I have been looking. They are frighteningly hard to find. (I started a couple)

Still, it’s a trend I want to talk about. I see more and more churches holding "Bible studies" where nobody brings their Bibles because the Bible is not opened, but instead, one verse, or theme from the Bible is pulled and expounded upon by a modern author, and the text of that author is studied with discussion questions on a separate sheet of paper. Another option is to study the sermon from the previous Sunday.

Small-Group-Bible-Study-NottinghamThe obvious motivation of this behavior is that we, as a people, like the idea of the Bible, but we don’t like the Bible itself. We think it’s un-fun un-interesting, and we think the work of these modern authors and preachers is comparatively interesting. We certainly do not trust people to interpret the Bible for themselves. Protestant Reformation be damned, if there is an interpretive question asked with out the pastor present you can be sure it will be deeply leading and “Socratic”

I want to be clear as I call it out that I’m not trying to shame those who think that way. If you think the Bible is more boring than John Piper or Rachel Held Evans or whoever that’s fine. I don’t think people who believe that are bad Christians, but I do disagree entirely.

I have had incredible experiences as a direct result of the biblical text that far surpass anything offered by the greatest writers of our time, or any time previous. My learning by attempting to practice and imitate the content of Luke and Acts , of studying Hosea in it’s original Hebrew, of walking around the ruins of the seven churches of Revelation and hearing the message of Christ through John as applied to my own temptations… They lead me to believe that there is more available.

As a result, even when I do reach a part of scripture that doesn’t light my fire (Leviticus, Chronicles, Titus) I tend to adopt a searching posture. I want to ask “What am I missing?” and “where are the problem who love this book” and “What do they love about it?” I want to read it in community and learn from other perspectives.

To that end I do have one bone to pick with the Christian Book Club or Sermon Pep Squad meetings. Could we at least call them what they are? I’m really sick of trying to answer this groaning in my heart but accidently ending up in a place I don’t belong that never intended to answer this longing.


Written by RyanGaffney

March 9, 2016 at 1:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Most people are followers. That’s why they want to follow the pastors and follow the authors instead of actually studying for themselves.


    March 13, 2016 at 4:19 pm

  2. I used to work in a Bible book store.

    Do you remember Purpose Driven Life?

    It took Lubbock by storm. You didn’t need a Bible at all to join the fun. If you went to the group, most of them anyway, you would get a free copy of the book, but if you paid extra, you could get the handsome, leather-bound journal, the coffee mug, and the decorative cross with a verse on it to sit on your coffee table – all matching of course!

    I don’t want to bash Rick Warren. God bless him, but that book became a circus attraction!

    Could have thrown in the towel and joined the JW’s almost!

    anyway… I feel ya…

    Agent X
    Fat Beggars School of Prophets
    Lubbock, Texas (USA)

    Agent X

    March 23, 2016 at 9:31 pm

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