Friday, 9 October 2009


Most people don't know how to read. This was the claim of Professor Mortimer J. Adler in his book, "How To Read A Book". He says that most people read a book for the wrong reason. A student reads a text book to pass an exam - rather than to learn. A lawyer reads case notes to win a case rather than achieve justice. A businessman reads a prospectus to see how much money he can make rather than seeing how his investment can make the lives of people better. Prof. Adler admits that in the early days of his teaching career he read books simply to prepare for lectures and to be able to quote from them to impress his students. But then he had an epiphany...
Eccl. 12:12 My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Perhaps some Christians read their Bibles because they feel they should. Some Christians are less sensitive to their conscience and because they have felt unmoved by their Bible reading, they have just abandoned getting anymore Biblical input than what they get on a Sunday morning. I certainly hope that as people join us and realise that we at Legana are serious about the Bible, they will become daily Bible readers. But why do want this? Another way of asking this question, is perhaps the way Professor Adler would challenge us- Why do you read your Bible?
Matt. 22:29 But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God."

Jesus rebuked people who made a big deal about reading the Bible but never coming to know God! We want to read the Scriptures so that we can know God and behold Him. This motive for Bible reading changes everything! We read slowly, carefully, and most especially prayerfully. Also read with a pen. Use it to underline, highlight, write a comment, jot down a thought. Some people even journal a prayerful response to what they read in Scripture and invite God to speak to them in writing through they are reading in Scripture and praying back to Him.
Psalm 27:5 For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

When we read a passage of Scripture, like Psalm 27:5, we can pause ("Selah") and ask God in prayer to keep us in times of trouble; hide us in His protection when we feel like hiding from everyone else; keep us in sweet fellowship with His people ("in His Tabernacle"); hide me from people and troubles that seek to harm me; and help me to remain strong and faithful oh God.
Psalm 81:7 You called in trouble, and I delivered you;
I answered you in the secret place

As we read, we pray. As we pray we listen to what God says in our hearts by His Spirit. This way, we hope to fulfil Christ's instructions to know both the Scriptures and the power of God.

1 comment:

  1. We are a not-for-profit educational organization, founded by Mortimer Adler and we have recently made an exciting discovery--three years after writing the wonderfully expanded third edition of How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren made a series of thirteen 14-minute videos, lively discussing the art of reading. The videos were produced by Encyclopaedia Britannica. For reasons unknown, sometime after their original publication, these videos were lost.

    Three hours with Mortimer Adler on one DVD. A must for libraries and classroom teaching the art of reading.

    I cannot over exaggerate how instructive these programs are--we are so sure that you will agree, if you are not completely satisfied, we will refund your donation.

    Please go here to see a clip and learn more: