I have just finished reading Keith Ferrin’s new book 10 Tips for Liking the Bible. It’s a great read that inspires and encourages me to read my Bible in a different way. Keith gives ten simple suggestions to help Christians like reading the Bible. The key word here is like. We all know we should read the Bible, but Keith is suggesting we should also really like reading it.
I first encountered Keith’s ministry when I read Like Ice-cream (you can read my review here). I like his book and so I looked around on the internet to find out about his ministry. He is a man who loves God, loves God’s book and want others to love it too. For a real treat, watch his recital of John 9. I saw that my friend Trevor Lee had reviewed 10 Tips for Liking the Bible so I asked Keith for a copy of his book so I could review it too. I’m really glad that I did.
Here are a few things that stood out for me in the book:
Keith reminded me that the goal of a relationship is to know someone, not to know about them. So when we read the Bible we should be doing it to know God not about Him. He suggests that ‘if our time in God’s Word was primarily relational instead of informational, then it would have a significantly higher probability of being transformational’.
I should expect great things from my Bible reading. I need to remember that I am reading God’s Word to His people (me included).
I should pray before I read the bible:
- Thank God for His Word
- Ask God what He wants me to do with the Bible
- Please God help me to focus
- I should pause to pray while I am reading and when I have finished reading.
Perhaps the most challenging and interesting idea that Keith puts forward is to read a whole book over and over again. He points out that many books in the Bible will take less than thirty minutes to read. For longer books, he suggests reading for an amount of time rather than an amount of chapters. He explains that
This has truly been one of the most beneficial and enjoyable changes I have seen in my own Bible reading over the last twenty years. The Bible is no longer just “something I do” early in the morning. It is part of a conversation that starts early in the morning and continues throughout the day.
Keith provides a 60 day approach to reading one book of the bible that involves getting the big picture of a book, doing a detailed study of a book and applying the book. Even better, Keith then goes on to suggest how to use this method as a 60 day adventure in Philippians or 2 Timothy.
10 Tips for Liking the Bible is not a long read, I read it in one sitting. (It is probably better read more slowly, and Keith has written a study guide to accompany the book.) Keith has been short and sharp with his writing. I am really glad that I read it, and I am excited about how it is going to change my Bible reading over the coming months – mmm, I might even blog about my experience of the 60 day challenge.
If you want to know more about Keith, have a look at his website www.keithferrin.com
If you want to read Trevor Lee’s review you can find it here. In fact, while you’re there have a look around his site.
And if you want to talk about 10 Tips for Liking Your Bible or if you have you own tips for liking the Bible, I’d love to hear what you have to say.
God bless, Kaye
Further reading: You may like to read my post on the 30 day faith challenge which is how I am responding to Keith’s book.