Thursday, April 12, 2012

Packer on reading the Bible theologically

J. I Packer wrote the following on theological Bible reading in his contributed chapter to the enjoyable and edifying little volume published by Crossway and edited by Grudem, Schreiner, and Collins:
The goal of theological Bible reading is not just to know truth about God (though one's quest for godliness must start here) but to know God personally in a relationship that honors him-which means serving Jesus Christ, the Father's son, the world's real though unrecognized Lord, who came to earth, died, rose, and ascended for his people, and has given them the Holy Spirit. To have him fill believers' horizons and rule their lives in his Father's name is the authentic form-the foundation, blueprint, scaffolding, and construction-of Christian godliness, to which theological Bible reading is a God-intended means. (Grudem, Wayne A., C. John Collins, and Thomas R. Schreiner. Understanding Scripture: An Overview of the Bible's Origin, Reliability, and Meaning. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011. Print. 35)
Packer finishes off his chapter on reading the Bible theologically by offering three questions which should govern readers as they interact with the inspired Word:
  1. In the passage being read, what is shown about God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
  2. In the passage being read, what is shown about the bewildering, benighted world with all its beautiful and beneficial aspects alongside those that are corrupt and corrupting?
  3. In the passage being read, what is shown to guide one's living, this day and every day?

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