spiritual vitality

so, oddly enough, I'm writing a book review on the Bible.. not so much because I'm wanting to critique it or anything like that (we can debate specific issues in more detail at another time), but because on Aug. 31st, I finished reading through the Bible in a year. the seminary had a Bible reading plan in place for the entire seminary body as a whole - students, faculty, staff, maintenance staff and all extension center employees. professors found ways to incorporate readings from the previous night into their lessons, or simply used them as a small devotional at the start of class. if you've ever been interested in reading through the Bible in a year, click here to find a copy of the seminary's plan. it's all dated based on last year; however, it's still just as fitting.
when I returned from Ecuador last year, my parents gifted me with an Apologetics Study Bible for my birthday & also to help with my start at seminary. it was a translation I hadn't read before (HCSB), so I figured this would be a good opportunity to: 1) read through the Bible in a year, but 2) to read through a new translation. as a whole, I like the HCSB, although it wouldn't likely by my #1 favorite translation. it is more scholarly, like the ESV or NASB, rather than just simple to read (NIV/NLT)

my freshman year at LSU I tried to read through the Bible in a year, but it became much more of a duty & obligation than something I desired to do. I made it through, but I honestly couldn't tell you much more about the Bible then than I had known before. "getting through it" was simply that - skimming pages and checking a box off a list. obviously not the right approach.

so when this opportunity came, I was excited about actually reading through it legitimately and passionately, while having the accountability of other seminary students, faculty, etc. to help keep my motives in check. I'm really glad I did read through the Bible in a year, but I don't encourage anyone to partake in this journey unless they are truly committed to it or unless their intentions are pure (i.e., not just wanting to check a box off a list). when there is a low commitment or lack of conviction (as I had 6 years ago), the difficult passages & books can leave one bored and in many ways turned off to the Bible.. that's never a position anyone needs to be in.

2 Chronicles was probably the hardest book to get through. not only is it difficult reading (dimensions of Solomon's temple & brief snippets of dozens and dozens of kings), but its preceded by difficult reading (genealogies of 1 Chron., lengthy stories in 1&2 Kgs., etc.).

if you decide to embark on this journey, let me know. I'll definitely be praying for you. the key issue I'm facing now is how to continue developing in spiritual vitality/scriptural expertise now that this plan is over. I need to take the habit of reading/studying daily and continue to develop that into a lifelong passion, unrestricted by temporal plans.

love, trent.

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