Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Power of Big Chunks

From an article by Jim Gilmore at Out of Ur: "Bigger Chunks of Bread" 
...It has dawned on me: we claim to be a people “of the Word.” But we read the Bible in chunks that are too little. We read slices of our daily bread, when we ought to digest whole loaves.
Forget George Barna’s “revolution.” Let me tell you what would be truly revolutionary: if every professing, church-going Christian would read the entire book of Galatians in one sitting, each and every day—until we knew (really knew) Galatians! (It only takes about fifteen minutes to read through Paul’s letter.) Greater still: if every preaching and teaching pastor would but read the entire book of Galatians in one sitting, each and every day!
I fear the Church today suffers from preaching and teaching that is based on chunks of scripture that are too small. Many of our pastors don't seem to really know their Bibles. Might the fact that contemporary Christianity is swimming in a sea of topical sermons be the result of pastors being ill-prepared to provide sound expository, exegetical preaching? And that this may be because they are too consumed in reading various books (including my own) other than the Bible, instead of repeatedly reading of the one book of the Bible they are preaching on and through, desiring for their congregants to richly know and understand the text?
I have a suggestion. Let’s stop buying and reading books written by pastors that are not a commentaries on a particular book of Bible. Let’s encourage our pastors to encourage us to know our Bible—like Barnhouse knew Romans. After all, it’s when our shepherds depart from knowing and preaching the very word of God that they most run the risk of presenting the flock with “irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called ‘knowledge’.” (1Timothy 6:20, ESV.)
My prayer is that both pastor and layman will cherish bigger chunks of our bread.