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Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Need your thinking…  I have had three conversations today where men have either told me or else reported that men are not willing to get into the Bible for themselves.  Why do you think that is true?  Or is your experience different?
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Let me be clear about what “getting into the Bible for themselves” means.  That does not mean that they are:
  • Watching a video about the Bible
  • Reading a book about the Bible
  • Doing a fill in the blank study
  • Reading a commentary or the notes in their study Bible
  • Having devotions or even journaling.
It means taking a passage of Scripture and digging in deep.  Making first hand observations on the text writing down what they are seeing.  Analyzing critically what they see.  Making personal application of what they find to their own life.

What do you think?  What is keeping men from doing this?


  1. Americanized Christianity; you have to do it for me (lazy).

    It just isn't that important; you make time for things that are.

    I don't think its real; you don't see many lives changed by it.

    1. Interesting that you qualified it as "Americanized." What is it about American Christianity that creates that mindset do you think?

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  3. I think that "men are not willing to get into the Bible for themselves" for at least the following reasons:

    1) WHAT FOR
    The were no clear compelling reason explained why one should bother himself with personal study of the Bible.
    I like the way Howard Hendricks illustrated this when exploring Heb 5:11-14Open in Logos Bible Software (if available) passage related to spiritual immaturity.

    When a baby is small, smiling, laying in the diaper, can't walk and feed himself and thus is dependant on some else to care for it, it is ok and cute. However, when a grown man continues to act as a baby, this is not cure at all. (Howard Hendricks, Synthetic Bible Study series, see; the quote may be not exact)

    2) HOW
    Either serious personal Bible study (not "filling in the blank" kind of study) was never introduced to a man, or
    (a) required more effort than one was willing to pay,
    (b) proved to be too technical and not applicable;
    and thus left without attention.

    In any case, the implication is that a man will "not grow up, but simply grow old" (Howard Hendricks, Ibid.).

    1. Really great thoughts. One of the things Prof emphasized over and over was that "How" had to follow the why. In John 5:39 - 40, Christ was speaking to people who had the first five books of the Bible memorized. He told them that they had completely missed the point.

      The Bible is a means to know Christ. Study for the sake of study is not all that effective. It seems to me that if men do not understand the reason they will not engage in the practice.

  4. Most men I know simply don't like to read, thus they have no patience for serious Bible study. Others are intimidated by the Bible, and no man likes that feeling. I believe that if men had someone to teach them step-by-step how to study the Bible they would experience the joy of discovering biblical truth for themselves, and then they would be hooked! Ben

    1. Yep. I know men who swore they would never read a book after they graduated from college. If they follow through with that they cannot be leaders.

      On the other point. I know someone who would be willing to help them learn. ;-)

  5. I'm late responding but best I could do. Not sure I can add too much. But this is what I have experienced in attempting to get men into studies.

    1. Too busy to take the necessary. After all, football, adventure books, fishing, hunting, etc. are all a whole lot more exciting at least.

    2. Related to one, as has already been observed, it's not that important so it falls down the priority list into obscurity.

    3. Our professional mindset. We pay the pastor, etc., to do that. He's the trained expert, knows the history, original languages, has studied the "theology," has the big perspective, etc., etc., and has the time ( at least he better.). How can I possibility understand any better than he does?

    4. Proverbs 2 suggests the kind of "work" it takes to get to the real meat (as per the ref. to Hebrews 5) encased in this book! To get beyond the obvious cultural context and hear the voice of God takes using the faculties God has given along with hearing the still small voice of the Spirit leading us into truth takes a lot of sweaty digging. It's a whole lot easier to listen to a sermon, read a book about the Bible, or if we're really serious read a commentary.

    5. The truth of this book might just confront me with the terrible truth about myself. After all, I've spent a life time trying to keep if covered up and out of anyone's (including my own) sight. I can't face the pain again (and again).

    6. Frankly, it just doesn't seem relevant to my 21st Century high-speed, high pressure, high expectation life-style. I'll leave it to my wife.

    1. On point three, there are an increasing number of pastors who are downloading other people's sermons on the internet and presenting them.

      On point four, yes, but I have not found many commentaries all that helpful. Even before I was able to use the languages, most of the commentaries were not dealing with the issues about which I wanted answers.

      On 6 yes I have heard that as well, but as you know that is a self fulfilling argument. There is no way it is relevant if I do not engage with it.