Thursday, June 4, 2009

Reading the Bible

I have been thinking about how we approach the scriptures and came across these thoughts:

These are the differences between INFORMATIONAL READING and FORMATIONAL READING.

Informational seeks to cover as much as possible. Formational focuses on small portions.

Informational is linear in process. Formational is in depth in process.

Informational seeks to master the text. Formational allows the text to master us.

Informational sees the text as an object to use. Formational sees the text as a subject that shapes us.

Informational is analytical, critical, and judgemental in approach. Formational is humble, submissive, willing, and loving in approach.

Informational has a problem-solving mentality. Formational has an openness to mystery.

Do you read the Bible for information or for transformation? What do you think about these observations?


Anonymous said...

I've heard a lot about letting the text speak to us or master us recently - and I think it is a helpful corrective to study that has been too informational.

However, I do think we need both. I say that because it's easy for me to skip study and just read a few verses - hoping to hear God's voice for the day. Our understanding of the "information" informs our formation.

The end goal, though, is tranformation - like you said.

How do you personally do formational reading, Kevin?

Thanks for your blog,
Scott Lundeen

KG said...

Good thoughts Scott. I would urge more towards a balance as you say. But study for information with no intent towards transformation is being a modern Pharisee.

I am not very good at formational reading and just beginning to work on this. I have traditionally studied to know and then as I knew more and more it tranformed me.

The old "I have hidden your word in my heart so I might not sin against you". It is actually quite effective if you heart is right.

Lately, I have tried out the whole Lectio Divina. I have found it quite useful to be silent, to meditate, to mutter over, to read and reread. It can help true transformation to begin to take place.

What about you Scott? Any thoughts on formational reading?