Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series
Author: Pauline Hoggarth, Fergus Macdonald, Bill Mitchell, Knud Jørgensen (eds.)
Published by: Regnum Books International, 2013

“The Bible is alive – it has hands and grabs hold of me, it has feet and runs after me”. Thus spoke Martin Luther, as cited by Knud Jørgensen in a quotation that summarizes the deeper meaning of this book. To the authors of Bible in Mission, the Bible is the book of life, and mission is life in the Word. (from the Foreword)

Bible in Mission is a rich collection of essays from around the world on the theme of 'Bible and mission - mission in the Bible'. They come as a follow-up to the missiological discussions of Edinburgh 2010. A glance at the contents page should be enough to convince all involved in Scripture Engagement that this book, now available as a free PDF download, is a must-read.

Introduction

The Bible in Mission - and the Surprising Ways of God (Ole Christian Kvarme)
The Bible as Text for Mission (Tim Carriker)
The Bible in Mission in the World and in the Church
The World
The Bible in Mission: The Modern/Postmodern Western Context (Richard Bauckham)
The Bible in Mission in the Islamic Context (Kenneth Thomas)
The Bible in Christian Mission among the Hindus (Lalsangkima Pachuau)
Children, Mission and the Bible: A Global Perspective (Wendy Strachan)
The Church
The Bible in Mission: Evangelical/Pentecostal View (Antonia Leonora van der Meer)
Bible Hermeneutics in Mission - A Western Protestant Perspective (Michael Kisskalt)
Orthodox Perspective on Bible and Mission (Simon Crisp)
'Ignorantia Scripturae ignorantia Christi est' (Thomas P. Osborne)
Case Studies
Africa
Baku Bible Translation and Oral Biblical Narrative Performance (Dan Fitzgerald)
The UBS HIV Good Samaritan Program (David Hammond and Immanuel Kofi Agamah)
The Bible and the Poor (Gerald West)
The Bible and Care of Creation (Allison Howell)
Asia-Pacific
'Text of Life' and 'Text for Life': The Bible as the Living and Life-Giving Word of God for the Dalits (Peniel J. Rufus Rajkumar)
Bible Missions in China (Pamela Wan-Yen Choo)
The Impact and Role of The Bible in Big Flowery Miao Community (Suee Yan Yu)
Bible Engagement among Australian Young People (Philip Hughes)
Latin America
The Bible and Children in Mission (Edseio Sanchez Cetina)
Bible Translation, the Quechua People and Protestant Church Growth in the Andes (Bill Mitchell)
The Bible in Mission: Women Facing the Word (Elsa Tamez)
West
Biblical Advocacy - Advocating the Bible in an Alien Culture (David Spriggs and Sue Coyne)
Scripture Engagement and Living Life as a Message (Steve Bird)
Reading the Bible with Today's Jephthahs: Scripture and Mission at Tierra Nueva (Bob Ekblad)
Lessons Learned from the REVEAL Spiritual Life Survey (Nancy Scammacca Lewis)
Glazed Eyes and Disbelief (Adrian Blenkinsop and Naomi Swindon)
Information Management and Delivery of the Bible (Paul Soukup)
Conclusion
The Bible as the Core of Mission: '...for the Bible tells me so' (Knud Jørgensen)
 
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Scripture Engagement handout from the FOBAI Annual Meeting 2014
Author: Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement

While many tend to think of prayer and Bible reading as separate spiritual practices (e.g. first I pray, then I read the Bible), they can be even more powerful when combined into one practice of "praying Scripture."

The Forum Of Bible Agencies International (FOBAI) Annual Meeting 2014 was held in Sri Lanka, with the theme "Next Generation Scripture Engagement - The South Asian Experience". We began every morning with a time of Scripture engagement in our table groups, meditating on Psalm 1 in different ways. On the second day, the focus was on Praying Scripture.

"To pray the Scriptures is to order one's time of prayer around a particular text of the Bible." This can mean either praying the prayers of the Bible word-for-word as your own prayers, personalizing portions of the Scriptures in prayer, or praying through various topics of the Bible.

Download the handout which contains more thoughts on Praying Scripture, including insights into how George Mueller started his day:

"The first thing I did, after having asked in a few words the Lord blessing upon his precious Word, was to begin to meditate on the Word of God; searching, as it were, into every verse, to get blessing out of it; not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word; not for the sake of preaching on what I had meditated upon; but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul. The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that though I did not as it were, give myself to prayer, but to meditation, yet it turned almost immediately or less into prayer."  [more...]

Are Canadians Done With The Bible?
Published by: Canadian Bible Forum and The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, 2014

The Canadian Bible Engagement Study, published on 1 May 2014, found that "about one in seven Canadians, or 14%, read the Bible at least once a week. The majority of Canadians, including those who identify themselves as Christians, read the Bible either seldom or never".

Since 1996, weekly Bible reading has declined by nearly half. People's confidence in the Bible as the Word of God has also decreased signficantly along with declining church attendance. Almost two-thirds of Canadians (64%) and six in ten of those who identified themselves as Christians agree that the scriptures of all major religions teach essentially the same things.

The survey showed that Canadians who are engaging most with the Scriptures have three behaviours in common: community (they are involved in a worshipping community), conversation (they discuss and explore the Bible with their friends) and confidence (they are confident it is the way to know God and hear from him).

View the video, download the executive summary and full report from the Canadian Bible Engagement Study website.

The study concludes with the message that "if churches are to strengthen the Bible engagement of their congregants, they themselves need to be convinced of the reliability, relevance, trustworthiness and divine origin of the Bible".

HT: Lawson Murray, jumpintotheword blog.  [more...]

Scripture Engagement handout from the FOBAI Annual Meeting 2014
Author: Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement

Scripture engagement is a way of hearing and reading the Bible with an awareness that it is in the Bible that we primarily meet God. It is a marinating on, mulling over, reflecting on, dwelling on, pondering of the Scriptures, "until Christ is formed in you" (Galatians 4:19).

The Forum Of Bible Agencies International (FOBAI) Annual Meeting 2014 was held in Sri Lanka, with the theme "Next Generation Scripture Engagement - The South Asian Experience". We began every morning with a time of Scripture engagement in our table groups, meditating on Psalm 1 in different ways. On the first day, the focus was on using Lectio Divina.

There are four traditional stages of Lectio Divina:

1. Reading (Lectio): To be done slowly and with focussed attention. Lectio Divina is best practiced with passages that you have at least some familiarity with.

2. Meditation (Meditatio): The goal is to pick out a word, idea, or phrase that strikes you in a personal way, and to repeat that idea in your mind, lingering over it and giving it your attention.

3. Prayer (Oratio): Take all the thoughts, feelings, actions, fears, convictions, and questions you have meditated on and offer them to the Lord in prayer.

4. Contemplation (Contemplatio): The 'task' in this stage is simply to be silent in the presence of God.

Download the handout which contains a description of Lectio Divina and directions for using this method of Scripture engagement with Psalm 1.  [more...]

Monday 17 - Saturday 22 November, 2014
Redcliffe College, Gloucester, UK
Sponsor: Redcliffe College, Wycliffe Bible Translators, SIL

This intensive Bible Storying Course will give participants the skills to help people engage with God’s Word through the retelling of Biblical Stories. The method has been used with people who prefer audio or visual ways of learning as well as in cultures where the Bible is not available in printed form.

The course will help participants to:

  • Tell a story to a small group, help others to learn the story, and lead a discussion about the spiritual application of the story
  • Understand the worldviews of the group, which stories are most appropriate to the group and and how to adapt your story to a given worldview
  • Begin story crafting with a Bibleless language group, or people already with Scriptures but who need help in engaging with them to understand the Bible’s whole story. They could be somewhere remote or even in your own town in the UK or Europe!

For more details on the course and booking information see Redcliffe's website.

The course is taught in partnership with Wycliffe Bible Translators and SIL, as part of Redcliffe’s Centre for Linguistics, Translation and Literacy.  [more...]

Research conducted among US adults
Author: Barna Group
Published by: American Bible Society (2014)

The American Bible Society and Barna Group have published their annual research on the State of the Bible, "a comprehensive study of Americans' attitudes and behaviors toward the Bible".

For 2014, they identify six trends:

  1. Bible skepticism is now “tied" with Bible engagement. Skepticism or agnosticism about the Bible has increased and now stands at 19%, the same as the percentage of those who are Bible engaged (who read the Bible at least four times a week and believe it is the actual or inspired Word of God).
  2. Despite the declines, most Americans continue to be "pro-Bible." But "being pro-Bible doesn't necessarily mean Americans use the Bible regularly, however. Only 37% of Americans report reading the Bible once a week or more."
  3. Distraction and busyness continue to squeeze out the Bible. "Americans say they want to read the Bible — 62% wish they read Scripture more — they just don't know how to make time."
  4. The age of screens has come to stay in the Bible market. "In just a handful of years, use of tablets and smartphones for Bible searches has skyrocketed, from 18% in 2011 to 35% in 2014. That said, a strong majority still prefer to read the Bible in print (84%); the same holds true even among Millennials (81%)."
  5. Increasingly, people come to the Bible for answers or comfort. Although most come to the Bible to connect with God, there is an increase in those looking for pragmatic answers to life's problems.
  6. People are less likely to link moral decline with a lack of Bible reading. People blame decline on other things (movies, music, TV, etc).

Download the full report and infographics from the American Bible Society website.  [more...]

Un manuel d’utilisation pour l’éditeur audio numérique Audacity
Authors: Fina Linan, Richard Margetts

This is the updated and expanded 2014 French version of How to do recording on your computer, an in-depth beginner's manual for recording with Audacity.

Scripture engagement practitioners across the Francophone world are using Audacity to record Scripture portions, Bible stories, radio programmes and Scripture songs. This 140-page manual can be used as a self-teaching aid or as part of a training workshop.

It covers subjects such as the choice of recording equipment, recording and editing audio, mixing multiple tracks and reducing background noise. The French version has an extended appendix on troubleshooting sound recording and playback problems with different Windows operating systems.  [more...]

Re-mastered in high-definition with a new musical score
Published by: JESUS Film Project, 2014

After 35 years, billions of viewings, 1,200 language translations and countless numbers of transformed lives, the classic JESUS Film taken directly from the book of Luke has been re-mastered in high-definition with a new musical score in Dolby 5.1 surround sound and special bonus features.

Available on DVD and Blu-ray from April 1, 2014. Languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin, French, Vietnamese, German, Korean and Arabic.

From the press release:

"While many have seen the original JESUS film, watching the 35th anniversary, re-mastered edition is akin to experiencing a brand new movie," said Dr. Erick Schenkel, Executive Director of The JESUS Film Project, a ministry of Cru. "During the film’s restoration, each of its 173,000 frames were individually and painstakingly re-touched and re-colored, and the entire audio track was re-done with dialogue, sound effects and new music."  [more...]