Eugene Peterson’s Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading is infusing me with a fresh enthusiasm for immersing myself in scripture.
One of Peterson’s more convicting points is this: that instead of hearing God’s revelation for what it is, Western Christians approach scripture to discover how it suits and satisfies our needs. Thus, he argues, the desire to hear the voices of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Spirit) has been replaced by a desire to use scripture to satisfy the needs of a new trinity: my Holy wants, my Holy needs, and my Holy feelings.
I’m guessing that Peterson’s observation hits close to home for most of us, not only in our personal devotional readings, but in the way we approach and participate in bible classes and group discussions.
What do you think? Is it possible that, rather than serving the primary purpose of satisfying individual believers’ wants, needs, and feelings, God’s revelation in scripture is about something even bigger and more meaningful? Can we miss that meaning by being too self-centered in our expectations of scripture? What difference does it make when believers come to scripture to receive what God is saying about the redemption of the world, rather than to discover how God might satisfy our own physical and emotional desires/needs of the moment?