You don’t need a relationship with words on paper (the Bible); you need a relationship with the living Word in your spirit (God).
Scot McKnight makes that plain in this excellent book about looking at our Bible with fresh eyes to more clearly see the awesome God it points to.
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Excerpt from The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible
I bring it all together into one central focus now: A relational approach believes our relationship to the Bible is transformed into a relationship with the God who speaks to us in and through the Bible.
If we distinguish God from the Bible, then we also learn that in listening to God’s words in the Bible we are in search of more than a relationship with paper with words, namely, a relationship with the person who speaks on paper.
Our relationship to the Bible is actually a relationship with the God of the Bible.
We want to emphasize that we don’t ask what the Bible says, we ask what God says to us in that Bible.
The difference is a difference between paper and person.
Let me put this now one final way: God gave the Bible not so we can know it but so we can know and love God through it.
. . . We must begin an entirely new conversation that gets us beyond the right view of the Bible to one that seeks to answer this question: “What is our relationship to the God of the Bible?”
I suggest that the answer to that question, and one that comes to mind immediately for the one who reads the Bible attentively, is simple: Our relationship to the God of the Bible is to listen to God so we can love him more deeply and love others more completely.
If God’s ultimate design for us is to love God and to love others, we can only acquire that love by learning to listen to God.
Listening and loving are intimately connected.
– Scot McKnight
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