We are excited to announce that 2018 at ENC will be A Year with the Book.
God has given us an amazing gift in the Bible and, by the end of the year, our prayer is that everyone will be able to encounter God through the confident reading of the Scriptures. Although the Bible is a gift, it can also be perplexing and daunting and it is very long. Through the year, we want to help one another to be able to read it confidently, with understanding and love. This will strengthen us massively as a community as well as individuals.
The plan is to weave this into every strand of our life together - in Sunday gatherings, hubs, prayer streams, 4mations, courses, God stories, theology days and some networks - and we so hope that you'll be able to join in with us.
A great way to start the year is to have a plan of regular reading of the Bible. A wonderful one we have found (via Mark Marx in Coleraine) leads you to read the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice in a year. If you are not reading the Bible much at the moment, we really encourage you to start this plan on January 1st. Make it a resolution. You can download it here.
In the First World War, Field Marshall Helmuth Graf von Moltke famously said that ‘no plan survives contact with the enemy’. The enemies of regular and happy reading of Scripture are distraction, sickness, boredom, business, laziness and spiritual warfare! If you get derailed from your plan and miss a few days, do not try to catch up (which leads to guilt and spiritual indigestion), but just jump in again at the day you are on.
Also, a great help to regular and happy reading is to ask all your 4mation to do the same plan. There is a lot of joy, encouragement and fascination in reading the same things together.
And keep an eye out on this page for resources through the year.
May God bless you and strengthen you throughout this year
Jon and Jo xx
Check out these 2 books and video recommended by Jon to help you as you get stuck into the Bible this year:
Storylines by Andy Croft & Mike Pilavachi - Six overarching themes that flow throughout Scripture-Jesus, Covenant, Presence, Kingdom, Salvation, Worship-demystify the Bible and make it fun to read. Written by the excellent leaders of Soul Survivor
How to read the bible for all it's worth by Gordon Fee & Douglas Stuart - Understanding the Bible isn't for the few, the gifted, the scholarly. The Bible is accessible. It's meant to be read and comprehended by everyone from armchair readers to theology students. These two brilliant scholars give essential insights into the Bible, clear up a lot of misconceptions and help you grasp the meaning of Scripture and its application to your 21st-century life.
The Bible Project Video - Video 2 called the Story of the Bible is a brilliant 5 and a half minute introduction to the whole sweep of the Bible story, from the beginning of it all to the final wrap up.
The shortest ever commentary on the whole bible - check out this for one sentence summaries of each book of the Bible