This isn’t the first, and probably won’t be the last challenge I post about on here. You may remember talk of a 90-day challenge back in the early summer. I’ll have more to say about that, and what I’ll be doing with it come January 1st.
In the meantime, I wanted to pass along this challenge as well. A couple of days ago, Tim Challies posted on it, and the idea comes from Grant Horner’s Bible reading plan which involves reading 10 chapters of Scripture every day. Horner, whose book Meaning at The Movies is worth looking into as well, has put together 10 lists or cycles that you read through on a rotating basis. So, over the course of this next year if you follow it, you’ll read 3660 chapters of Scripture (it would be 3650, but 2012 is a leap year).
UPDATE: Since the idea took off on Challies blog using “3650” I modified the name here.
The lists, if you’re curious are:
- The Gospels (89 day cycle)
- The Pentateuch (187 day cycle)
- Romans-Colossians + Hebrews (78 day cycle)
- The rest of the NT epistles + Revelation (65 day cycle)
- Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon (62 day cycle)
- Psalms (150 day cycle)
- Proverbs (31 day cycle, or monthly)
- The OT historical books (249 day cycle)
- The OT Prophets (250 day cycle)
- Acts (28 day cycle)
In the past, Ali and I have done a similar plan but it only had 4 rotating lists. I’m excited about trying this one in the New Year because it seems geared toward total immersion, which is something I’ve felt is missing from my life. I certainly read a lot, and I read a lot about theology and biblical studies. I don’t however read Scripture directly as much as I should.
If you struggle similarly, take heart, even those of us with masters degrees in theology can find it hard to have a daily habit of just reading Scripture. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and using this plan alongside a group of other people doing the same thing is a great way to set up a new habit.
I’m planning on pitching this to the reading group we’ve already got going so that in addition to talking about our good theological reading, we are also talking about Scripture together and reading intensely in community. We’re hoping our community will grow more in more in tune with the Spirit as we see and savor God’s word more and more.
To use an analogy, it’s like tuning a guitar, which can be tedious at times, but the functionality of a tuned guitar is rather clear. When playing alone, it is usually sufficient to tune all the strings to themselves, regardless of whether they are actually the correct tuning of EADGBE. However, when it comes to playing with other people, simply having a guitar tuned to itself is not enough, each guitar (or other instrument) must be tuned to the same tuner which keeps absolute pitch. Once everyone is in tune with the tuner, then beautiful music can be created.
The Bible is a means with which God brings us into tune with Himself, rather than leaving us to tune to each other, which may work for a time. But without an absolute reference point, it will not be long before the whole Body of Christ is several steps sharp or flat to the oblivion of the individual members. When the Bible is approached as a means of being tuned by the God, rather than as merely a textbook about God, it can stretch us so that the strings of our lives are properly tuned and useful for making beautiful music.
Hopefully over the course of the next year, that is what we will see develop in our community by taking on the 3660 challenge. If you’re up for the challenge, I think it might be worth looking into!