There are at least two ways to read the Bible. Wendee's story re Corrie Ten
Boom and chocolate, illustrates the first way--to read the Bible in a personal
way, to let the Spirit speak through the Word, to make it part of our daily
devotions without analyzing its ingredients. This approach leads to a
deepening of spiritual life. Corrie Ten Boom urged the theologians to read
the Bible in that way. She does so because theologians, and many of us, read
the Bible too much in the second way--in an analytic manner. We apply a
critical, scientific attitude toward it, in an attempt to understand what it
says. Such a manner of reading may nourish the intellect but can become a dry
intellectual process that leaves the soul barren..
I dare say both approaches to Scripture are legitimate and are illustrated in
the Book of Acts. In the first, the Ethiopian eunich (Acts 8: 26-39)
travelling back home on the desert road was reading the book of Isaiah. He
was reading it in a personal way--what did it mean to him? Philip appeared
and explained the Scriptures to him, leading him to conversion and baptism.
He continued his journey home rejoicing, filling his soul with the Word. This
is probably the most fundamental and prior way of reading the Bible.
As an illustration of the second approach--the Jews at Beroea (Acts 17:10-12)
were said to have received the Word from Paul with eagerness, "examining the
scriptures daily to see if these things were so." They were in the analytic
mode, trying to ascertain the truth of Scripture.
I think Wendee is urging us not to be locked into the analytic mode, but to
read the Word as a source of personal spiritual nourishment as well.
In a message dated 5/29/98 10:38:47 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
<<Something to think about:
The story is told of the time Corrie Ten Boom was to speak to a group of
theologians after the war. She first passed out Dutch chocolate to each
person there - a real treat in those days. After they had eaten it she
said, "No one said anything about the chocolate." Someone protested that
they had indeed thanked her for it. She replied, "I meant that none of you
asked me how much sugar was in it. Or what kind of chocolate it was. Or the
order in which the ingredients were added together. Or the temperature of
the mix. Or where it was made. You just took it and ate it." Someone in the
audience replied, "And it was excellent." Corrie Ten Boom then continued
holding up her Bible, "And in the same way you should read this! Stop
analyzing it or you will never be nourished. Pick it up and read the Word