Regular Bible reading is a crucial part of the Christian life. And while every page of the Bible is God’s Word, some passages can seem irrelevant or feel disconnected from today’s world. Many everyday Christians read the Bible but struggle to apply it to their daily lives. The words on the pages can seem detached from our everyday lives, resulting in frustration or confusion.
Grace College and Seminary New Testament professor, author, and preacher Matthew Harmon addresses this difficulty in his new book, Asking the Right Questions: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Applying the Bible (June 2017, Crossway).
“There has to be a simple and practical way to understand and apply the Bible that anyone can use. This book is my attempt to help you,” writes Harmon. “The questions we ask when we read the Bible largely determine how we understand and apply the Bible. So if we want to understand and apply the Bible, we need to make sure we are asking the right questions.”
Harmon explains the overall structure of Scripture, highlighting techniques that can be used when reading. In order to bridge the divide between the biblical text and the reader’s heart, Harmon explains how to ask, answer and apply four foundational questions when reading the Bible:
- What do we learn about God?
- What do we learn about people?
- What do we learn about relating to God?
- What do we learn about relating to others?
He also outlines four foundational questions to help readers apply God’s Word:
- What does God want me to think/understand?
- What does God want me to believe?
- What does God want me to desire?
- What does God want me to do?
The Bible is first and foremost a book about God: his character, his conduct, and his concerns. Yet God did not give us Scripture just to inform us; he gave it to transform us. In Asking the Right Questions, Harmon trains new and seasoned Bible readers alike to ask the right questions when reading God’s Word to help them understand how to apply the text to their lives and grow in godliness.