The biggest barrier to our becoming learners

By Dave Henning / June 28, 2017

“Often the biggest barrier to our becoming learners is what we think we already know.”- John Ortberg

Today, John Ortberg continues Chapter 9 of The Me I Want to Be as he describes five ways to read the Bible.

1.  Read the Bible with curiosity.  Pastor Ortberg cites philosopher-educator John Dewey, who wrote: “Genuine ignorance is profitable, because it is likely to be accompanied by humility, curiosity, and open-mindedness.”  In contrast, Dewey added, “the conceit of learning . . . coats the mind with varnish, waterproof to new ideas.”

Thus, Pastor Ortberg suggests, you’ll be most engaged reading Scripture if you ask questions and look for something not previously noticed.

2.  Read the Bible with integrity.  When you read the Bible and experience doubt, John advises to “try softer” rather than “try harder.”  Let God know about your doubts.  After all, He already knows anyway!

3.  Read Scripture with expectancy.  Expect to meet with God when you read the Bible.  Because you’re looking and hoping for something beyond yourself, your mind is alert, awake.

4.  Read Scripture with an active mind.  Until the past few centuries, John notes, forms such as the “alphabet song” provided the source for all human knowledge.  And today, advertisers use TV jingles to burrow their products into our minds.

In a similar way, as you read Scripture, ask God to put it in your bones like the ABCs.  As a result, John states, you read His presence in your world.

5.  Read the Scriptures the way you watch a movie.  When it comes to the Bible, conversation often becomes stilted.  Because people’s overriding concern involves getting the right answer, everyone backs out of the conversation.  Consequently, create space for musings, questions, and disagreements when reading the Bible.  Thus, reading the Bible in that way engages everyone’s imaginations and critical thinking skills.

Today’s question: What creates the biggest barrier when you read the Bible?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Actually do what Jesus said”

About the author

Dave Henning

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