Eugene Peterson: The Difference Between Reading the Bible and Studying the Bible

Peterson is a genius. In this short clip he leans on the difference between reading the bible to glean information that we can use to control ourselves and others, and entering into the bible in order to be called into question and changes. These are two very different approaches to the scripture, and lead to two very different kinds of obedience. It has taken me a decade to try and learn how to do the latter one, and I still feel like a beginner.

Nevertheless, I have noticed that reading the bible in the second way – entering into the story, letting it narrate my life as well as my beliefs – makes me a threat to all of those people who read the bible in the first sense (for information and control). It is one of the most difficult things about taking the bible seriously – you become a threat to those whose power is dependent upon religious control.

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About Tim Suttle

Tim Suttle is a pastor, writer, and musician. He is the author of two books: Public Jesus (The House Studio, 2012), and An Evangelical Social Gospel? (Cascade Books, 2011). Tim's work has been featured at The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Sojourners, The Wall Street Journal, and other magazines and journals. Tim is also the founder and front-man of the popular Christian band Satellite Soul, with whom he toured for nearly a decade. He has planted three successful churches over the past 12 years and is the Senior Pastor of Redemption Church in Olathe, Kan. Tim's blog, Paperback Theology, is hosted at Patheos.

  • Kevin Fusher

    I very much agree with you Tim!