Sunday, May 17, 2015

How to Enjoy Reading Your Bible by Keith Ferrin

The title of this book intrigued me. I know I am supposed to, and do, read my Bible regularly. But enjoy it? Even those troublesome passages in the Old Testament? That was something I just had to read about.

Ferrin says he has been enjoying his Bible reading for some twenty years. He tells us what inspired him and seeks for us to experience that same inspiration. He wants us to fall in love with God's Word and gives us ten tips to that end.

He emphasizes that God's Word is relational instead of informational. He notes the importance of our expectations and provides a strategy to overcome the enemy's tactics. He tells us the importance of context, reading the entire story. He suggests rereading, reading out loud, having a Bible buddy, and more.

He gives precise suggestions for a sixty day immersion in Philippians and another for 2 Timothy. He suggests we keep a journal when we read, both for our benefit and for when we discuss the passage. He also emphasizes the necessity of community, having others with which we discuss our experiences.

He includes an Appendix giving an outline for studying the book of Ephesians in a small group. He provides a plan to read the Bible chronologically in four months in a second Appendix. He also has additional resources for this book at his website.

There are two areas I wish Ferrin had covered. The first is reading other people's mail. He writes about reading Philippians, especially Phil. 1:3-8, and then asks if we feel loved. To me, that's like me reading a letter I find from neighbor A expressing love to neighbor B and then expecting me to feel loved. Paul was expressing his love to the Philippians. Am I to feel loved by Paul? Ferrin must mean I am to feel loved by God, but then am I also to feel the wrath of God as I read some Old Testament passages?

And that leads to the second issue. Ferrin doesn't address some of the hard passages of the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, and how we are to “enjoy” them. An additional chapter or Appendix could have helped us grapple with some of those passages expressing God's anger and wrath and judgment.

I think Ferrin's book is good as far as it goes. Enjoying the reading of the entire Bible, including the troublesome or puzzling passages, may require some additional work.

You can watch a YouTube interview with Ferrin as he talks about his book here.

Keith Ferrin is a speaker, storyteller, life coach, and author. He founded That You May Know Ministries in 1996 to help people fall in love with God's Word and its Author. He presents one man, dramatic, word-for-word presentations of whole books of the Bible. He and his family live in Kirkland, Washington. You can find out more and read his blog at www.keithferrin.com.

Bethany House, 160 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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