I’ve got news for you:

You don’t have to go to Bible college to learn the Bible.

Wow, now that I’ve written that out loud (my keys make noise when they type, don’t yours?) it sounds pretty basic.

You don’t need to go to Bible college to learn the Bible any more than you have to go to a prestigious art school to master drawing or go to Hollywood to know about movies. You know how to draw because you’ve been doing it since you were old enough to hold a pencil. You know about movies because you watch them every weekend.

You don’t have to go to Bible college to learn the Bible.

“I’ve just had an apostrophe.” “You mean an epiphany?” 

This notion dawned on me last week when I was in, of all places, CHURCH. (You know, where you learn the Bible?) While I was sitting there, finding a comfortable way to sit elegantly with sun-burned legs, I heard my pastor say something I’ve never heard before. This is not an uncommon occurrence; my pastor says many profound things. But a lot of the time, he says things that I already know but haven’t looked at it from that particular angle. Or I knew it but haven’t thought about it in a long time so it’s a good refresher.

It’s not a surprise to hear my pastor say something I don’t know, because I don’t know everything. But what he was saying was basic enough that I was surprised I hadn’t come across the idea throughout my life in church or my years at Bible college. Actually, now that I think about it, I had met it in Bible college but had not made the true connection until last Sunday.

“LIIIIGHTBULB!”

As a consequence of my epiphanic experience last Sunday, I’ve been thinking about Bible college and the shroud of piety that seems to surround it. The idea that you can only truly learn the Bible if you study it academically is silly! Or that those of us who have had formal biblical education know everything about it and think we are God’s gift to churches everywhere.

[In part two, I’m going to debunk those two lies. But for the rest of part one, I will leave you with an exhortation to go to church and listen.]

Listen!

My friend was at a conference last week where she was taught how to listen. What? Learn how to listen? Isn’t that something that comes built-in? Right now, as I type, I’m listening to the wind and birds out side, a clock ticking, and some road noise. I don’t have to consciously hear those things, I just do.

But listening is actually a skill. It involves all sorts of body language and brain activity. It involves eye contact. It involves hearing, recognizing, translating, and most importantly, thinking.

Go to church and listen. Bring your Bible or use the one on your phone. Take notes. Stay engaged. Think. You might even learn something new!

And you didn’t even have to go to Bible college.

Advertisements