Really…Every Single Word??

Here are three more reasons why every word is profitable…

5) There is also another caution that should be heeded when reading the OT law, census, genealogies. I have read through a Bible reading plan for the past few years and found that my nourishment in the Scriptures waned when I was working through such texts. I toyed around with not reading them at all…but decided that I needed to work through these hard texts because they were in there for a reason. I will say, read the census materials, but meditate on an epistle even longer. This is not a contradiction because you need to know (at least to some degree) whose son David is and whose son Samson is. But, by virtue of progressive revelation, these important concepts are put together by the prophets of the OT, the Gospel accounts, and the epistles.
6) Gems are found in the mundane. It may be a little late for this, but look at the genealogy in 1Chron 4. Tucked away in that is the life of Jabez. If you had decided to skip over the genealogies, then you would have missed it. Maybe you did skip it and missed your chance at a bestseller (bracelets, journals, student study kits, and all!).
7) And yes, I still hold that large portions of Scripture should be read in corporate services – even genealogies. It builds within people patience that pop culture and Best Buy certainly doesn’t foster. It affirms the fact that the Scriptures can and will make you wise. Rather than only reading the “good parts” while blah-blah-blahing the minutia, working through the difficult presses home that we need to be submitted to the Word of God. We should not dictate what is profitable and what deserves out time.

Comments 4

  1. 5) That seems fair enough to me.

    6) Do you really want to use the J-word to shore up an argument? The fact that it leaves some empty space to push some prosperity gospel sickness is a poor commendation. ;-)

    7) So essentially, “boring is good”? While boring isn’t bad, I think it’s a reach to say that boring is an end in itself.

    I think your point seven contradicts your point five. Are we or are we not allowed to be discerning readers, and why must that discernment accept that these things must be read publically? It seems like you take for granted that all of these texts should be read publically, and then try to make up some reasons why. That’s not bad, but I think it’s important to be clear on the order of things.

  2. I’m not trying to be “nit-picky” with it, so if you think so, just put it aside. With that said:

    You said,

    “I will say, read the census materials, but meditate on an epistle even longer.”

    while at the same time arguing that “we should not dictate what is profitable and what deserves our time.”

    The language of “dictating” is possibly too harsh for the question of whether to read out all bits of the bible in public worship. I think “discerning” is more the issue, and that’s what I think you are giving place to in that bit in point 5.

    I guess my question is, why does one get to “discern” how much time to put into the reading and study of different biblical texts, but not go so far as to read out from the lecturn some texts and not others?

    Moreover, I’m not sure I understand your argument as to why the statement “this collection of documents (the Bible) is inspired by God” necessarily leads to “every bit of it should be read out publically in worship.” I’ve noted that you come up with several justifications that I think are good reasons to deal with every bit of the bible in the context of Christian education, but I don’t know why you insist a priori that it all must be read out.

  3. Great points! Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

    A priori rationale comes from the fact that God has spoken the words, therefore like a thirsty hart pants for water so our soul should long for every drop we can get from the mouth of God.

    I agree that “discern” is a better word – it’s more congenial. I want to insist on reading every part of Scripture b/c I think it models the private practice for people. I think at the end of the day we would agree that all Scripture should be read by the Christian. But I want to press the issue of modeling for people in public so as to influence their private life of reading.

    Make sense? We should discern that every Sunday we shouldn’t read the census material, but we should not shy from it. Nor should we blah-blah. I believe doing so models a arbitrariness (determined by the reader, leader, etc) as to what is profitable.

    Thoughts? Clarifications?

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