Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Consumerist or Religious Reading

Frederick Neidner, with some creative feeding from Paul J. Griffiths, wrote about the consumerist reader and religious reader of scripture. Which sounds more like you? The consumerist reading “makes us users, buyers and sellers of texts. Consumerist readers are interested primarily in moving quickly from one text to the next in search of things that will excite, titillate, entertain, empower and give them some advantage over others.”

“Religious readers, on the other hand, assume they have come into the presence of a text with inexhaustible depth. They read with reverence, humility, obedience and the presumption that difficulty in understanding reveals more about their limitations than the excellence or effectiveness of the text. Religious readers incorporate, internalize and memorize texts. They read slowly, hoping not to miss anything.” [“Forming Students Through the Bible,” The Christian Century, (April 18-25, 2001) pp. 16-20].

Since scripture is God’s communication with us, shouldn’t we read it hoping not to miss anything? Scripture has the power to light our paths, soften our hearts, convict our minds, and change our lives in the present and in the future. Don’t pass over it too quickly. Read slowly to incorporate, internalize and memorize. That’s Life at Work!


Danny said...

Good post Rich.

Thanks for the reminder. It is not always easy to slow down and breath in the text when constantly viewing it as source material for presentations.

dagwud said...

No doubt preachers and teachers are at great risk for developing a cosumerist reading style. One of the keys for me is planned reading that isn't "lesson related."