3 Ways to Spread Scripture

17. 3 Ways to Spread ScriptureHere’s my story: I became a Christian through reading the Bible. After starting in the first pages of Genesis and laboriously trudging through a book that raised more questions than it answered, I eventually was captivated by the towering figure of Jesus of Nazareth in the four gospels. Coming to trust the credibility of Jesus’ character and the relevance of his claims, I discovered first hand the compelling evangelistic power of Scripture (Jn 20:31; Rm 10:17). Unfortunately my story is somewhat of an isolated incident.

Engaging people with the message of the Bible is a hard slog. With so many cultural objections to the Bible, and so many Christians apathetic to its treasures, there is little impetus for sceptics and seekers to open its pages. What is worse, even when they do the Bible is incredibly confusing. Even to a native of the culture, here is how Peter reflects on his fellow Apostle Paul’s letters; “There are some things in them that are hard to understand” (2 Pet 3:16). Popular objections like “the Bible supports slavery” are classic examples not of biblically illiterate people, but of theologically illiterate people who read the Bible with no knowledge of how to interpret Scripture’s genres, the historical context, or the theological sweep of salvation history.

For Scripture to serve as the potent weapon it was designed to be, we need some helpful resources and new approaches to engage a sceptical and undisciplined culture. Here are 3 approaches to pique interest and direct people through the Bible to the person of Christ.

SHARING THE BIBLE IN PIXELS

Millenials and Gen X’ers spend as much time engaging the digital world as they do the external (analogue?) world. Social media is quickly becoming the new marketplace of ideas as people share what they are passionate about. So how can you engage people with the Bible online?

Beyond Scripture search engines and pithy Christians statements, why not allow the Word to become pixels? God’s word was first spoken in creation, then revealed through the prophets, and then became flesh in our midst, all before being inscribed in ink. As Christians engage in the arts we find new mediums to redeem and through which to continue expressing God’s Word. Why not share some of the videos of groups the The Bible Project? These videos beautifully express the significance of Scripture’s stories and themes, weaving throughout each the scarlet thread of redemption which, when followed, will lead the viewer directly to the cross of Christ.

ENGAGING THE BIBLE IN PERSON

From the very beginning the study of Scripture has been a communal process. As I began my journey as a Christian the Bible raised more questions than it answered and I needed a guide to help engage me with its story. Few people are likely to read the Bible on their own, so how can you come to the story together?

Developed originally for university students, UCCF in the UK have developed their “Uncover Bible Studies” material as a way of engaging 1-on-1 or in small groups around an inductive study of Luke’s Gospel. Based around the theme of investigating the evidence from a crime scene, the 6-study booklets walk through the major character and claims of Jesus of Nazareth, culminating in the evidence for his resurrection. With all the expert testimony there for you, and with the questions and content laid out, why not just invite a friend for a no obligation coffee to check out the first study together? You can explore their questions, work through the material, and if they don’t want to do another, at least you’ve opened the door.

STUDYING THE BIBLE IN PRINT

Becoming a student of Scripture takes training. The dominant image of God’s Word in the Bible is that of a two-edged sword (Eph 6:17; Heb 4:12). Here’s the thing: swords are dangerous. The Roman war machine had to train its soldiers in the use of the gladius or the two-edged short sword. Untrained soldiers were liable to injure themselves of the men on their own team if they went hacking without surgical precision. Learning to engage Scripture requires training to fulfil Paul’s command for us to rightly divide the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15).

Although there are myriad larger books about how to study the Bible available in print, I’ve developed a central summary resource for our church exploring questions like: What is the Bible? What do Christians believe about the Bible? How should the Bible impact my life? How does the Bible point to Jesus? Why is the Bible so hard to understand? How can I make sense of the Bible? Download this below, distribute it freely, and get into the habit of equipping people with the right tools to make sense of Scripture.

How to Study the Bible (booklet)(compressed)

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