I just read/listened to this article by Scott Newling, “Devoted to the public reading of Scripture,” advocating a recovery of the actual practice of devoting ourselves to the public reading of scripture in our churches.
As 1 Timothy 4:13 says,
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture….
Scott Newling says,
Let me be blunt: when we reduce the Bible reading in order to privilege something else in our meetings we are shifting the congregation’s understanding of what church is. When we choose not to read some bits because we deem them inappropriate, we forget that God wrote them—and that in his wisdom he knew what he was doing when he did. When we choose not to read parts because they seem irrelevant or unclear, we teach our congregations and ourselves that God’s word isn’t eternal or understandable. When we choose to not read the Old Testament because it is ‘unfamiliar’—how else are we going to get familiar with it? The non-Christian world certainly isn’t going to help us. If we find Scripture to be boring, it’s not God’s fault, and the solution isn’t to silence God! If we find a part boring, we must ask God to give us interest in it, because we love him and want to know what he has to say. The Bible is well aware that some bits are harder to understand than others (2 Pet 3:16-17). But where did we get the idea that the solution to this is to stop reading?
When we choose to reduce Bible readings for something else, do we then in effect say that our means, our words, are better than God’s to grow people?
I loved this article. It reflects a lot of my own convictions on the matter and thoughts I’ve been having for a little over a year now.