Thursday, January 13, 2011

Creating Context in the Bible, Not More Information @KeithWilliams @TyndaleHouse @AdamSab

As I have mentioned a couple of times on this blog, I have come to really appreciate approaching the Bible devotionally. One of the ways such an approach can be bolstered is with a devotional Bible (surprise! :) ).

I recently received a copy of the In His Image Devotional Bible. The purpose of this Bible is to notice and meditate on the various characteristics of God throughout the Bible. This Bible has five primary features to aid a meditation on the imago Dei: Prayerful Readings based on Lectio Divina; Response to God Articles, essentially short devotional essays; God's Names and Titles, providing a quick time-out to focus on an attribute of God; Book Introductions; and Character of God Articles, fifteen longer essays about God.

Such elements can be found in plenty of devotionals, but I like how they are appropriately dispersed throughout the Bible. This allows for easy Bible reading with interspersed pauses to slow down and meditate on God's character. The earlier Mosaic Bible that introduced me to the NLT aids devotion by organizing Bible readings by liturgical year. While one could read through the Bible book-by-book and refer back to the devotional element, it is difficult to do in that version. The IHI Bible makes such reading seamless and more meaningful. So both can be useful, depending on the intention of the reader.

One of the things that particularly stood out to me was in the "user's guide" to IHI. On page A17, the editors explained that the Prayerful Readings (but I would say all the devotions) "may be different from other devotional you have read. Their primary purpose is not to give you ideas to think about. They, instead, provide a context for his Word and by the power of his Spirit."

As I have mentioned before, we often approach the Bible as a place to get information. It definitely has good information, but that's not what it's intent originally was in most (if any) cases. The biblical texts were meant to help us create a context to understand and engage in a lifelong conversation with God. This Bible definitely does that.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook in exchange for a review (with no obligation for a positive review).

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