Tag Archives: Stare

“The rigorous habit of querying the text” by John Piper

“Amazing things happen when you form the rigorous habit of querying the text-– when you aggressively ask questions to yourself and to the text. Little by little, thread by thread, you begin to see the intricately woven fabric of God‘s revelation. Over time you will be changed.”

–John Piper, Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017), 347.

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“The purpose of God for the Bible cannot fail” by John Piper

“God has made the natural act of reading the Bible supernaturally the indispensable means of achieving the ultimate goal of the universe…

The purpose of God for the Bible cannot fail. And that purpose is to reveal God’s infinite worth and beauty as the ultimate value and excellence in the universe, to open the eyes of His people to see that glory in the Scriptures, so that we savor the excellence of God above all created treasures, and, by beholding and being satisfied with God, be changed from glory to glory, until the bride of Christ— the family of God across all centuries and cultures— is complete in number and beauty for the white-hot worship of God forever and ever.

God purchased and secured this great salvation through the incarnation of the Son of God, so that He might live a perfect life, die in the place of sinners, and rise from the dead to rule the world. To preserve and perform this great plan of salvation, God inspired and preserved the Christian Scriptures.

And now He is carrying out His plan as millions of people pursue the natural act of reading the Bible supernaturally. I invite you to join us. It is the only way for your life to be of lasting service to the world, and for your work to show forth the glory of God, and for your soul to be fully satisfied forever.”

–John Piper, Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017), 392-393, 393.

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“Look, look, look!” by John Piper

“Most people read half asleep. We read the Bible pretty much like we watch television— passively. What I mean by passively is that we expect the TV program to affect us. Entertain us, or inform , or teach us. Our minds are almost entirely in the passive mode as impulses come into our minds.

The opposite is when our minds go on alert and watch carefully. We become aggressively observant. When we see TV or the world actively, we see layers and dimensions and aspects of reality that before were totally unnoticed. The difference is that now the mind is engaged.

You have issued a command to the brain: Look! Listen! Think about what you are seeing. Spot clues. Be aggressively observant. Be unremitting in your attentiveness. Be unwaveringly watchful. Make connections. Notice patterns. Ask questions….

The barrier to seeing the riches of the Scriptures is not owing to the fact that more people don’t know Greek and Hebrew, but that more people don’t have the patience to look, look, look.”

–John Piper, Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017), 327, 332.

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“A way to pay attention to God” by Andy Naselli

“You may be tempted to skip this chapter because you think it’s boring or relatively unimportant. Grammar doesn’t have to be boring. (I love it!)

But more importantly, grammar matters because God chose to reveal Himself to us with grammar. So paying attention to grammar is a way to pay attention to God.

The more accurately you understand grammar, the more accurately you can understand God.”

–Andy Naselli, How to Understand and Apply the New Testament: Twelve Steps From Exegesis To Theology (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2017), p. 82.

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“Read whatever you want to read” by Alan Jacobs

“It’s what you’re reading that matters, and how you’re reading it, not the speed with which you’re getting through it. Reading is supposed to be about the encounter with others minds, not an opportunity to return to the endlessly appealing subject of Me.

American have enough encouragements to narcissism; let’s try to do without this one…

Read whatever you want to read. And read at your own pace, without pausing even for a second to think about what your rate of words per minute is. You probably read too fast anyway.”

–Alan Jacobs, The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 67, 68-69.

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“Slow down, query, ponder and chew” by John Piper

“We will never think hard about Biblical truth until we are troubled by our faltering efforts to grasp its complexity.

We must form the habit of being systematically disturbed by things that at first glance don’t make sense. Or to put it a different way, we must relentlessly query the text.

One of the greatest honors I received while teaching Biblical studies at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, was when the teaching assistants in the Bible department gave me a T-shirt which had the initials of Jonathan Edwards on the front and on the back the words: ‘Asking questions is the key to understanding.’

But several strong forces oppose our relentless and systematic interrogating of Biblical texts. One is that it consumes a great deal of time and energy on one small portion of Scripture.

We have been schooled (quite erroneously) that there is a direct correlation between reading a lot and gaining insight.

But, in fact, there is no positive correlation at all between the quantity of pages read and the quality of insight gained. Just the reverse for most of us. Insight diminishes as we try to read more and more.

Insight or understanding is the product of intensive, headache-producing meditation on two or three propositions and how they fit together. This kind of reflection and rumination is provoked by asking questions of the text.

And you cannot do it if you hurry. Therefore, we must resist the deceptive urge to carve notches in our bibliographic gun.

Take two hours to ask ten questions of Galatians 2:20, and you will gain one hundred times the insight you would have attained by quickly reading thirty pages of the New Testament or any other book.

Slow down. Query. Ponder. Chew.”

–John Piper, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry (Nashville: B&H, 2002), 74-75.

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