Last night I was able to head downtown with my wife and some of our friends to the opening session of a conference put on jointly by Wycliffe College and ACI (Anglican Communion Institute). The event was being held at St. Paul’s on Bloor. To be honest, the main reason we went down was because the speaker for the evening was one, Tom Wright. The writings of Wright have been quite formational for me over the last couple of years so it was nice to hear him speak for the first time in person. Tom gave a talk on the New Testament (obviously) and it’s impact on Anglicanism. Some things that stood out to me:
– The importance of reading from both the Old and New Testament each time you read. This gives you a window through which you can glimpse the whole of God’s story as revealed in the Scriptures.
– It is important to read through books of the Bible, from beginning to end, in one go. This is obvious when you think about it. The epistles were written to be read in their entirety. They are letters and were never meant to be broken down into little bits. The same goes for other books as well. Granted, it’s not always possible to read an entire book at a time (either publicly or privately) but it’s something we should attempt to practice at least some of the time. It’s important to read entire books at a time for a deeper understanding of the flow of the book as a whole.
– Daily, and by daily I mean daily, immersion in the scriptures is something we need more of. Wright likened it to a familiar analogy: suppose you have a jagged rock that you are trying to shape. If you you throw it in a river and come back at some point in the future the effect of the river constantly running over the rock will have caused it to become smooth and take on a new shape. If you were to take this same rock and throw it in a dry river bed nothing would happen. Even if you doused it with water every now and then it wouldn’t have much of an effect. The same can be said for occasional outbursts of flowing water.