Glenn R. Paauw is vice president of Global Bible Engagement at Biblica and senior fellow at the Institute for Bible Reading. He has a deep-seated passion for engaging people in the Bible and allowing such engagement to penetrate everyday life. Saving the Bible from Ourselves: Learning to Read and Live the Bible Well is the fruit of such passions and Paauw’s ambitious attempt to provide a refreshingly new paradigm for everyday Bible engagement.
Saving the Bible from Ourselves introduces seven new perspectives on Bible reading that allow the reader to slowdown and engage the biblical text with intentionality. Paauw’s objective is to help readers rediscover a “big reading” of Scripture. As Paauw explains, “My core argument is that for most of us, most of the time, small readings prevail over big readings . . . small readings [are] those diminished samplings of Scripture in which individuals take in fragmentary bits outside of the Bible’s literary, historical, and dramatic contexts” (p. 11). It is here that the Bible needs saving, according to Paauw. Not because of internal defect or shortcoming, but because small readings have “buried it, boxed it in, wallpapered over it, neutered it, distorted it, isolated it, individualized it, minimized it, misread it, lied about it, debased it and oversold it” (p. 16).
As the book unfolds, Paauw carefully guides the reader towards a multifaceted problem which allows them to observe and implement a resolution that will last. The broader problem can be summarized as follows: (1) the contemporary Bible is far too cluttered and distracting for long periods of digestion; (2) such clutter results in the tendency to read less when our soul desires to read more; (3) such minimal Bible consumption results in a diminished historical and literary awareness, as well as oversight of the larger biblical narrative. It is here that Paauw calls for a Bible reading revolution—a revolution that removes itself from its dependency upon study aids and Bible clutter, and seeks to reengage itself with the bigger picture of the biblical narrative.
Saving the Bible from Ourselves: Learning to Read and Live the Bible Well by Glenn R. Paauw is the type of book that should be received with open arms from anyone serious about their Christian faith. It is a book that will challenge your current reading practices and reorient your heart towards a proper method of Bible engagement. I couldn’t recommend it more!
I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.