Advocacy for SE
Taylor University (a Christian university in Indiana, USA) has created a Center for Scripture Engagement.
The reasons given are: (1) because Scripture Engagement is on the cutting edge of evangelism, (2) because engaging with Scripture is the catalyst for transformational discipleship and (3) because a new vision of the power of Scripture is urgently needed.
The Center defines "Scripture engagement" as follows:
Scripture engagement is interaction with the biblical text in a way that provides sufficient opportunity for the text to speak for itself by the power of the Holy Spirit, enabling readers and listeners to hear the voice of God and discover for themselves the unique claim Jesus Christ is making upon them.
On the website, you can view findings from The Christian Identity & Scripture Engagement research project, where 592 university students were surveyed in 2011 on aspects of their Christian lives, including the spiritual disciplines and the role of the Bible. [more...]
Here's an evaluation of the 2011 Biblefresh year in the UK, a nationwide campaign encouraging people to engage with the Bible:
"Biblefresh was a major initiative involving 120 partner organisations, a significant level of resources was invested in it, and its aims were ambitious. Therefore, it was deemed essential that there was a rigorously evaluated. The evaluation was conducted by Theos Think Tank and highly commends the initiative. Biblefresh successfully enabled a wide range of churches, agencies, organisations and colleges to focus on the Bible. Individuals felt that Biblefresh increased their enthusiasm for, and confidence in, the Bible. The report also highlights lessons that can be learnt for the future and reminds us that when it comes to engaging people with the Bible, there is still a lot more work to be done." (EA, 2012)
Uncover the Word is a national movement of people in the USA who are committing to the daily practice of Scripture engagement.
At the Uncover Summit, held November 7-9, 2011 in Orlando, Florida, participants pledged to:
- Declare their confidence in the God’s living and active Word.
- Renew their personal daily encounter with God in Scripture
- Restore the Bible to a place of centrality
- Dedicate themselves to create compelling invitations to Scripture engagement.
The Forum of Bible Agencies - North America (FOBA-NA) has led the call for Uncover the Word to become a flagship national campaign, inviting organizations and churches to commit to this Bible engagement renewal initiative.
"I see a generalized pattern of other missionary translators, neglecting the use and distribution of translations done by their colleagues after their colleagues are gone. This appears to call into question that the use and impact of the translations of others important to them, especially when one compares it to what they do pay a lot of attention to..."The author of the Bible Translator Foibles blog asks searching questions for missionary Bible translators, especially about their desire to see the Scriptures available and put to use.
"I asked the leadership about this New Testament. Was it being used? Was it having an impact? Was it still available and for sale in the part of the country where the language was spoken?For anyone involved in Bible translation in a cross-cultural context, this blog offers plenty of food for thought. [more...]
The answer to all of these questions was “We don’t know”. That answer was surprising enough, but I was really shocked that the questions did not seem to evoke any sense that not knowing was a problem. The questions did not create any desire to find out. It appeared to me that it was okay with the missionary translators if the completed New Testament in that language was no longer available to the people for whom it was translated."
"Ce manuel est un guide efficace pour une bonne préparation à l'étude biblique, à la méditation, à la prédication intégrant les réalitiés culturelles de chaque peuple."
The Seed and the Soil explores the power of the Bible that brings about God’s transforming and liberating purposes, as well as its power as an often oppressively misused text. Characterised by a wide variety of storytelling, this book is accessible to all that read it.
Available: May 2011
The Seed and the Soil is available for pre-order. [more...]
"Read the Bible for Life aims to improve biblical literacy in the culture and the church by simultaneously moving readers toward greater skill in reading the Bible well and toward a deeper commitment to applying Scripture to everyday life."
The Read the Bible for Life initiative seeks to accomplish two things foundationally:
"1. We want to help people learn to read the parts of Scripture well, so they know how to engage a psalm, or an Old Testament story, or a parable, applying the word in specific, life-changing ways. 2. We want to help people understand how the grand story of the Bible fits together, so they can understand their place in that grand story that God has written on the world."
On the initiative's website you'll find videos, podcasts, blog posts, as well as details of the book "Read the Bible for Life" by George Guthrie (Union University). [more...]
The Lausanne Movement has published the second part of the Cape Town Commitment, 'A Call to Action'. It includes a section on eradicating Bible poverty and Bible ignorance, calling for Bible translation, Bible teaching and Bible literacy:
"C) Aim to eradicate Bible poverty in the world, for the Bible remains indispensable for evangelism. To do this we must:
- Hasten the translation of the Bible into the languages of peoples who do not yet have any portion of God’s Word in their mother tongue;
- Make the message of the Bible widely available by oral means...
D) Aim to eradicate Bible ignorance in the Church, for the Bible remains indispensable for discipling believers into the likeness of Christ.
- We long to see a fresh conviction, gripping all God’s Church, of the central necessity of Bible teaching for the Church’s growth in ministry, unity and maturity...
- We must promote Bible literacy among the generation that now relates primarily to digital communication rather than books, by encouraging digital methods of studying the scriptures inductively with the depth of inquiry that at present requires paper, pens and pencils."
For the full text of the Cape Town Commitment, go to the Lausanne web site: [more...]
"We affirm that the Bible is the final written word of God, not surpassed by any further revelation, but we also rejoice that the Holy Spirit illumines the minds of God’s people so that the Bible continues to speak God’s truth in fresh ways to people in every culture... We must make the Bible known by all means possible, for its message is for all people on earth. We recommit ourselves, therefore, to the ongoing task of translating, disseminating and teaching the scriptures in every culture and language, including those that are predominantly oral or non-literary."
The Lausanne Movement has published a draft of Part 1 of The Cape Town Commitment - a statement to follow on from the Lausanne Covenant (1974) and the Manilla Manifesto (1989). It includes a section entitled "We love God's Word".
The role of Scripture In Mission was a special focus at the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization.
Translations are available in several languages. Part 2 (our call to action) will be published by December as a result of reflections from the Congress. [more...]
"Praise God for this event where so many people from what Brazil calls the three waves of missions worked together. As one person reported, he heard expatriates, Portuguese MT Brazilians and indigenous people calling the event 'their forum'."
This is a report from the first Brazil Forum for the Use of the Scriptures in Indigenous Languages, which brought together 200 people, representing 59 ethnic groups and 32 organizations.
There were plenary sessions in the morning with group discussions following. In the afternoon there were workshops on topics such as Scripture Memorization, Use of Indigenous Scriptures in the family and eight other diverse topics. The evenings were for enjoying different ethnic music, hearing testimonies, and in general, having good fellowship. [more...]