Friday, January 4, 2013

A Year Of "Reading The Bible For Life"

By George H. Guthrie

A.J. Jacobs describes himself as Jewish "in the same way the Olive Garden is an Italian restaurant." Yet, this secular agnostic set out to "follow the Bible as literally as possible" for a year. The product? A 2008 bestseller titled, "The Year of Living Biblically," in which we find example after example of the hilarity and futility of taking passages of Scripture out of their contexts and removing "Bible living" from biblical community.

Over the past 18 months hundreds of churches across North America have participated in quite a different kind of "year of living biblically," seeking to immerse their members in a deeper experience of God's Word through a whole-church training and reading program. "Read the Bible for Life" ( was shaped to help churches go deeper in the Word in two ways: 1) by training people to read the Bible better and 2) by offering a whole-church experience of reading through the Bible together.

I have had the privilege of walking with many of these churches, and Baptist Press has invited me to reflect on my experiences.