Week after week, they heard the gospel preached from the Old Testament to the New Testament. As Doug said, “It began to change the way we thought about all areas of life. We realized the gospel impacted every aspect of our lives. Our lives took new meaning. It was and is exciting.”
Great ending to the book. While not necessarily encountering much that I haven’t already been exposed to or thought through, I do so appreciate Belcher’s efforts to bring unity to what is increasing becoming a factionalized evangelical church. Some of my criticisms still stand. I still think this is largely a young-ish American white middle to upper-middle class conversation. I’m just not sure how much people who fall outside this demographic really care about the sorts of things being discussed here. That said, he is communicating my own feelings about what the ideal church looks like. In short, I think Jim and I could hang together.
However, I’d like to take this opportunity to focus in on the last eight words of the first sentence of the quote above: “from the Old Testament to the New Testament.” It is no secret that the Old Testament is massively neglected in most churches, and for that reason, most church attender’s lives. And yet, I love what is being affirmed here: The gospel shines through the whole of Scriptures, and not just the relatively small portion towards the end.
Starting January 1, I’m embarking on a new reading project… the Bible. All of it. In a year. Crazy, I know.
Trust me, I realize that that isn’t really much all that revolutionary about doing this. I’m confident that there are millions of people who read their Bible all the way through every year. J. I. Packer is famously quoted as saying, “Every Christian worth his (or her) salt reads the Bible cover-to-cover every year.”
While it won’t be the first time I’ve read the Bible all the way through, it will be the first time a several years that I’ve done so. Part of what drew me to the project wasn’t just the my personal sense of needing to do so, but to do so with others. So, I’ll have several friends doing it with me. Men that I meet with on a weekly basis. Students with whom I do the same. Probably some co-workers. Other people from church. You know, some of the same folks who just attempted to finish Deep Church.
I’ve been asked by at least one person to consider blogging the entire project. I’m not making any commitments yet, but I will ponder it the next few days. So much I’d like to say, and so little time to do so.
By the way, if either of you who read this blog are interested in joining in on the Bible reading plan, I’ll be following this plan from Bible Gateway.