Monday 7 September 2009


[I was asked to write a recommendation of lyfe, a resource from Bible Society, was happy to do so, and came up with the following.]

If you’ve ever struggled with reading the Bible on your own (who hasn’t?), or if you’ve ever found it difficult to see how the Bible relates to everyday life (any takers there?), then you might find Bible Society’s ‘lyfe’ to be a fresh way of encountering God through his written word.

The three-step ‘read–reflect–respond’ approach adopted by lyfe has been well tested, and combines different levels of engagement – encouraging a move beyond simply reading and understanding Bible passages (crucial though that is) to reflecting on their significance and then responding appropriately.

We can do that on our own, of course, but lyfe comes with added dimensions…

Reading the Bible with others
Lyfe encourages people to read the Bible with others in small groups. The Bible itself is clear that there is an integral relationship between the word of God and the people of God, where Scripture shapes the way we think and the way we live – together – as part of an ongoing commitment to serve God faithfully – together.

Reading with others helps prevent privatised readings of the Bible, and corrects some of the biases we may bring to certain passages or topics. Others see things I don’t see; others have insights I don’t have; others face challenges I don’t face. All of this means that, especially where a group grows to trust each other, there is great benefit in reading together and sharing together.

Reading the Bible for life
Lyfe encourages groups to read the Bible together in public spaces – coffee shops being an obvious favourite. Once again, there are enormous benefits in doing so, aside from the empowerment that comes with doing something in a group that we might not do if we were alone.

Perhaps most significantly the context helps to ‘normalise’ reading the Bible, making it natural to seek connections with life, encouraging us to think how it relates not to just to us in our everyday contexts, but to the people around us – the harassed mother, the young accountant, the lonely pensioner.

I heartily recommend lyfe as a way of engaging with God, with others, and with life itself.

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