The Bible as Christian Foundation
So, why is the Bible so important?
As American‘s we are all beholden to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. The Constitution is the foundation laid upon the cornerstone of the Declaration. These two documents contain the foundational document of our country. What it means to be an American begins with these two documents, and conflicting characteristics or laws are rejected.
Likewise, the foundational document of the Christian faith is the Bible. Sixty-six books…thirty-nine Old Testament…twenty-seven New Testament. It begins with “In the beginning…” and ends with “Amen.” But what does it actually say in between? If it is the foundational document for our faith, shouldn’t we know?
I must confess, I’ve started reading the Bible straight through, cover-to-cover more times than I care to count. Most of those attempts were thwarted by genealogy lists and legal requirements and restrictions that would put an insomniac on caffeine pills to sleep.
Let me introduce you to the E100. The “E” stands for ‘essential’. The E100 is a collection of the ‘essential 100’ passages of Scripture. The Essential 100 Challenge is an effective Bible reading program built around 100 carefully selected short Bible passages – 50 Old Testament, 50 New Testament. The goal is to have a reading plan that conveys the character and nature of God without a lot of the details that trip us up and make us stop reading.
Beyond just reading, it’s a good idea to discuss what we’re reading. Why? Most of us could probably tell stories of a passage of Scripture suddenly ‘coming to life’ after years of seeing and reading the passage. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had this happen to me, and invariably someone tells me, “Well, yeah…of course that’s what it means.” In other words, discussing the Scriptures can help us learn from each other’s perspectives and challenge some of our own long-held preconceived notions about the Bible, God and ourselves.
I’d like to encourage you to take the Challenge! Would you commit to reading 100 short passages of Scripture and discussing it with a small group? Would you maybe be willing to host a group or lead one? We are hoping to start 8 small groups from this challenge.
The E100 reading plan is now online (including links to each passage), and we have bookmarks and pamphlets with the reading plan. We also have books for each small group leader to help guide the discussions. Sermons will be based on a part of the previous week’s readings. Let’s learn more about our foundational document together! The E100 Challenge begins January 29, 2012.
What do you think of the Bible? What is the foundation of your life?