I took Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), which is a large, organized, international Bible study for three years and it followed an inductive model (drawing general principles from the specific passages read). I think this probably influenced the way I read the Bible, I’m always looking for or finding applications to my life. I read the Bible as if it was written for me, because it was. I understand that there is a history behind each part and reasons for what was written and customs and culture that influenced all of it, but to me, it was written by God for me. I’m not an inerrantist, so its probably more descriptive to say I believe its the ‘inspired Word of God written by human authors.’ Whatever, its still God speaking to me and there are any number of ways the message may get messed up on its way to me, through the author, through interpreters and commentators, and by my self.
I think there are many ways to read the Bible. I believe the events literally happened but my approach is more of a willful suspension of disbelief (why can people do this for the movies but not for the Bible?). I believe the Bible is living and spiritual and that it is life. If you listen, it will speak to you. If you do not hear it, don’t worry, you will. Or maybe it not your path, I can’t speak for others. I know that when I read the Bible, it plants itself within me and will pop into my head at different times. Is this God within? Could be, could just be the result of ruminating on its stories and lessons. I have read large chunks of the Bible quickly from which I felt I got nothing and other parts that have spoken immensely to me. The Bible builds on itself, some of those large passages are explaining the backdrop and enable other passages to speak — I have found this very true of the Old Testament.
David said: But I’m not to sure if my suffering is for my faith or for my wavering
To David I say: you do suffer for your faith. If you had no faith, there would be no waivering. Therefore we all suffer for our faith. Of course some have physical suffering to endure even unto death. Praise God that is not our situation, but that does not diminish the fact that we too suffer for our faith. Perhaps thats why we are to find joy in our suffering. Do I suffer for my faith, yes, but only a little. My faith brings me far more joy than suffering and there is joy within the suffering. Praise God.