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Are you Hungry?

Interview from Christianity Today with Pastor David Platt, author of Radical, Pastor of Church at Brook Hills.

All good evangelicals affirm the centrality of the Word. Still, we have a severe problem of biblical illiteracy. How do we go from knowing the Word is important to knowing what the Word actually says?

We have severely dumbed down the Word, and shown a lack of trust in the sufficiency of the Word in the way we preach. We find it necessary to supplement it with entertaining stories and quips or good practical advice for living the Christian life that are not based in the Word. This deficiency transfers into people content with a little “Word for the Day,” in a devotional book at best, as opposed to deep knowledge of Scripture.

We’re trying to hit at the problem from a variety of angles at Brook Hills. First of all, in worship we’re quoting the Word, singing the Word, and engaging in intensive study. We’ll study 55 minutes to an hour. We try to really saturate the community of faith with the Word when we gather together.

I go to other places, such as house churches in Asia, and they study for 11 or 12 hours, knowing they risk their lives. They’ll dive in deep. We came back and tried to do something similar here. We call it secret church and do it a couple times a year. We gather together for intensive study with no frills, nothing flashy, no entertainment value. The first time, about 1,000 showed up. We studied Old Testament overview from 6 p.m. to midnight, but usually it goes longer, supplemented by times in prayer for the persecuted church. It’s all ages, but the predominant demographic is college students and young singles. It’s grown to the point where we need to offer tickets at $5 for reservations and the cost of a study guide. We’ll do it again in October with 2,500 folks. It’s theological in nature. We’ve done a night on the Atonement, another on the doctrine of God. This time we’re doing spiritual warfare. It’s one of my favorite sights as a pastor to look out at 12:30 a.m. and see a room full of 2,500 people, their Bibles open, soaking it in.

We should all strive to be this deep in the Word. To crave God’s Word with such a hunger that we would gladly devote hours of time to learning it more deeply. Let us be a generation that is transformed by the Bible. Let us seek wisdom from the Holy Bible. Let us not approach church with the mind of consumerism but with the mind of a humble servant eager to hear from their Lord. Our brothers and sisters across the globe risk their lives to have someone read Leviticus to them in a dark, cramped basement. Let us thirst for the Word as they do, willing to risk our very lives to learn the story of redemption.

Filed under biblical literacy Bible evangelicals Christian teens Secret Church David Platt