Culture At Large

The best Bible-reading plan ever

Andy Rau

Reading through the entire Bible is a pretty common New Year's resolution for many Christians, I think. It's certainly been on my list of doomed-to-failure resolutions more than once. Dan Edelen has a great post on why most Bible reading plans just don't work, and what a truly good Bible reading plan looks like. From his post:

The problem, as I see it, is that all such programs miss the point. While reading through the Bible in a year is a worthy endeavor, it's an artificial one. God's not so much interested in us making it through all 66 books in 365.25 days. What He desires of us is that we understand what we read in His word, ruminate on it, and then do something with what we've read. With some of the plans out there, I could spend an entire year reading the Bible and not remember one whit of it, nor put into practice even one of its commands.

He's not just complaining, though; he lays out a detailed method for reading the Bible that he thinks is more spiritually profitable. I won't spoil the suspense, but the real key element of his list is step #9. (Take a second to go check it out.) Dan seems to be getting at a root problem with the way we often read the Bible, whether or not we're following a specific reading plan. Just reading the Bible without actively connecting what you're reading to your faith and life won't do you a whole lot of spiritual good. Reading the Bible just so you can say that you've done it, or just because you guiltily feel that you ought to do so, isn't any better.

(All that said, if you've not had the chance to read through the entire Bible at least once, I recommend doing so if you're able; and often a specific 365-day reading plan is the easiest way to do that. Once you've been through the Bible once and have a rough understanding of its structure, you can go back and zero in on specific passages with the intensity that Dan suggests.)

Topics: Culture At Large, Theology & The Church, The Bible