The Story & Biblical Literacy

As a church, we are embarking on a 31-week adventure of reading The Story. During these weeks, we will experience the majority of the biblical narratives and gain a better understanding of God’s great plan to redeem his creation. It is our hope that this journey will not only awaken your heart to experience the brilliance of the Bible, but will also give you a deeper confidence in your knowledge of Scripture.

It is important for us as a culture to reengage the Scriptures with a new fervency. It is my belief that the good people of Hamilton County hold a respect for the Scriptures; however, for the most part, we do not know about the Grand Story of the Bible, nor about the God who is at work in our midst. So many of our attempts to get the gospel message out have resulted in whittling down of the Scriptures to look like nice and tight formulas. But the Bible isn’t a book of equations; rather, it a love story that God is writing with and through his creation. In this book, we experience a God who interacts with his people, leading them toward justice, mercy, forgiveness and love. 

One of our goals as a church is to increase the level of biblical literacy in our community. Our working definition of biblical literacy at WRCC is to “have the skill set to study Scripture and the wisdom to apply it to life.” There is a direct correlation between how often a person engages the Scriptures and his or her development as a disciple.

So what does it mean to be biblically literate? Does knowing Scripture equal knowing every fact and detail in the Bible? Does it mean that we are going to start having “sword drills” in our worship services and watch Keith Comp go through a battle royale with fellow church members? As enjoyable as this might be, this is not what biblical literacy means.

Having a skill set to study Scripture means that you know what sorts of questions you should be asking of the text. Questions like:

  • What is the context of the passage?
  • What is the historical, cultural, and economic backdrop to the text?
  • What type of literature is this? Is it poetry, prose, history, parable, letter?
  • What was the author, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, trying to tell the readers?

These are not questions we expect you to ask or answer on your own. The Scriptures were written with the intent of being read and understood within a community. While we should all be reading on our own, we come together every week to try to unpack these things together. This is why we encourage you to attend corporate worship and participate in a life group. It is only within a community that we can properly engage the Scriptures and gain the wisdom we need to apply them to our lives.

We encourage you to journey through The Story with us, learning about and experiencing the great plan of redemption that includes you and me and everyone around us. It is my prayer that we would each find our place within this great story as we venture through God’s word together.

 

Tom Rich
Discipleship Pastor

3 comments

  1. I love the communal aspect of reading scriptures. In our day, when everyone owns several copies of the bible, it’s easy to forget that these texts were transmitted orally within communities and discussed within these contexts. It can be daunting to read the scriptures today, but it’s important to remember that we don’t have to do it alone. I’m glad we are embarking on this journey as a community!

  2. I can still recall my days in college when my Bible classes helped me make the connection between all the stories of the Bible into one big story with a single purpose of God gathering a people for himself. This is life-changing stuff. I have never read Scripture the same since.

  3. Alison, I totally agree – the idea of a “meta-narrative” was revolutionary for my heart. It helped me see the consistent heart and mission of God throughout both the OT and NT.

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