"I began to slowly realize that the God of the Bible, not the God of formula and bullet points that some have turned the Bible into, but the God of the actual Bible, the old one before we learned to read it like a self-help book, had a great deal to say to me."
"Perhaps if we stop reducing the text to formulas for personal growth, we can read it as stories of imperfect humans having relations with a perfect God and come to understand the obvious message He is communicating to mankind."
"I wondered what it would it would have been like to have studied the Bible and not be tainted by lists and charts and formulas that cause you to look for ideas and infer notions that may or may not be in the text, all the while ignoring the poetry, the blood and pain of the narrative, and the depth of emotion with which God communicates His truth. I think there would be something quite beautiful about reading the Bible this way, to be honest - late at night, feeling through the words, sorting through the grit and beauty. It wouldn't bother me at all to read the Bible without all the charts and lists because a person could read the Bible, not to become smart, but rather to feel that they are not alone, that somebody understands them and loves them enough to speak to them - on purpose - in a way that makes a person feel human."
Excerpts from Searching For God Knows What, by author and speaker Donald Miller.
Here's my two cents. The book of the Bible is NOT THE OBJECT of our faith. Instead, it points us to the person of our faith - the one and only triune God.
I've heard it said that we need to develop our relationship with the Bible. That thought seems blatently wrong to me. We need to develop our relationship with the PERSON of God. We need to know Him.
I am tired of the Bible being referred to as my "text book," my "instruction book," or my "authority." (I am not questioning the authority of the Bible here.) To me, these labels belittle the Word of God and our faith. For that matter, I am insulted when I am told that the sum of my Christian life and God's purpose for me on the earth is to sit in the "classroom" of our worship services and be a good "student" of this text book.
I believe our lives, our faith, and especially the Bible are something different - something much more important. The Bible is the very breath of God spoken to humanity. It is a narrative of how God has interacted with mankind since the beginning. It shows us who He is and what He is like, and more importantly - how desperately God loves us. By reading it, we begin to know his nature and, more importantly, we begin to know Him.