The Bible Challenge
I’m very glad to have a small role in a new project: The Bible Challenge. It’s a way to get people to read the whole Bible in a year. Already seven dioceses in the Episcopal Church in the US have signed on, along with many parishes and people in England, Tanzania, Pakistan, and other places. Certainly this isn’t the first effort to encourage people to read through the whole Bible, but this one is getting quite a bit of traction among Episcopalians. That’s new.
This program was created by Marek Zabriskie out of his ministry at St. Thomas Church in Washington, PA. Zabriskie saw what happened when people were challenged to read the Bible and supported in doing it. It was transformative. I saw the same thing in my previous parish ministry. It’s not all the complicated, really. You get people to read God’s Word and good stuff happens.
Anyway, today is a kickoff of sorts. If you sign on, you’ll read three chapters of the Old Testament, a bit of the psalter, and one chapter of the New Testament each day. Every day (except Sundays) there will be a blog entry to support people who decide to read the Bible in 2012. If you hop over there, you’ll notice that I’ve written the first three days’ entries. But coming after me is a very impressive lineup of authors and scholars. Immediately following me, you’ll read Walter Brueggemann.
There are iPhone tool on the way, and eventually there will be web tools for those who choose to read at a different date. Forward Movement will be publishing a book of daily meditations (drawn largely from the Bible Challenge blog entries). Anyone can read the Bible. This project seeks to build community among those who take the challenge.
Go explore the Bible Challenge’s website. You’ll see that lots of folks are excited about this and have signed on to take part in various ways.
Mostly, I encourage you to join the Bible Challenge. Read the whole Bible this year. It will change your life.