Or are there distinctively Christian ways of reading Scripture?
In answer to our opening question, Billings concludes, "While there are important practices of reading that apply to nonbiblical books as well as to Scripture, ultimately we should not read Scripture as we read other books. We should read it in prayer, memorize it, speak and sing it with the congregation in worship—worship that delights in telling and tasting the story of God's saving work in Christ, accessed through Scripture. We should come to Scripture, as we do to worship, with an expectation of meeting the mysterious triune God, with the prayer that we would grow in our love of God and our neighbor—becoming more like Jesus Christ" (224, emphasis mine).
Billings was here on Wheaton's campus in December serving as the outside reader for the dissertation defense of a fellow student. I'm glad to have had an opportunity to read his book. His vision of the promise of theological interpretation is coherent, compelling, and accessible to a wide range of readers. If you've been wondering what it should look like when Christians read the Bible, this book is for you!
Monday, April 9, 2012
is the Bible just like any other book?
Dr. Carmen Imes is the Associate Professor of Old Testament at Prairie College in Three Hills, Alberta, and serves the broader church through teaching, speaking, and writing. She earned a PhD in Biblical Theology (Old Testament) from Wheaton College under Dr. Daniel Block, an MA in Biblical Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Charlotte), and a BA in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. She and her husband, Danny, served as missionaries with SIM 15 years. They have three children: Ana, Emma, and Easton.