Practicing Christ-Centered Reading

Practicing Christ-Centered Reading

How might we begin to develop our ability to read the Bible more Christocentrically—that is, as a book that speaks everywhere to us of Christ?

First, it is essential that we develop the skills of attentiveness outlined in chapter ten and have some experience of using those skills in our reading of the Gospels. Until we have learned, at a deep level, to discern and respond to the presence of Christ in the Gospel narratives (where he is most conspicuously present), we will always struggle to identify how, say, Leviticus or Job might be revealing Christ.

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What Revives My Soul

Pain is good at getting our attention.  As C.S. Lewis has famously said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures. . . . but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”  Last fall, with megaphone-like resound, God returned my attention to His Word like never before.

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Scripture & Ourselves

Several years ago a close friend blindsided me with a penetrating observation. “Fil,” he said, “you are constantly quoting authors who have influenced your life… but you rarely mention the Bible.” Though I am confident there was no malice intended, his truthful words hurt, and even today I feel their sting. Yet following the initial sadness and shame, came eventual transformation, as I began to discover that reading the Scripture is a way into prayer.  

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Reading the Bible to Discover the Word

The Bible and I have had a long love-hate relationship. Like star-crossed lovers we seem not to show up to the right moonlit balcony at the same time or on the same night. As the sacred words on the page call my name, my ears are stopped up tight to their romancing sighs. I come to those pages lusting for truth and have often found a cold shoulder pointed in my direction. My numerous study Bibles and countless marking pens brought me neither appreciably closer to God nor to Christ-likeness. I was left to wonder…why? In fact, it was actually starting to become boring and stale.

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Hope

We gathered right before bedtime, on either my brother or my own bed. There my Dad read a Bible story each night. The children’s picture Bible pages were thick and the cover brown. The stories became a parting promise to sleep. On a nail above my little white bed hung a small glow-in-the-dark cross. The stories were pressed into my heart over time.

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