Take Heed How You Read

By Rob Lister Jan. 25, 2013 12:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Christian Education, Church Life, Spiritual Formation, Theology

As we near the outset of a new academic semester, I thought this comment from John Frame was a fitting word of encouragement for Talbot faculty and students alike concerning the nature of our engagement with God’s word.

“The power of the word brings wonderful blessings to those who hear in faith, with a disposition to obey. But it hardens those who hear it with indifference, resistance, rebellion. In considering this biblical teaching, I often warn my seminary students to pay heed to what God is telling us here. For seminarians typically spend two or more years intensively studying Scripture. It is so important that they hear in faith, lest the Word actually harden their hearts and become a fire of judgment to them. God’s Word never leaves us the same. We hear it for better or worse. So we should never hear or read God’s Word merely as an academic exercise. We must ask God to open our hearts, that the Word may be written on them as well as in our heads.”

John Frame, The Doctrine of the Word of God, P&R, 2010, 52.


Indeed, in the spirit of Matt. 16:26, what would it profit us if we ace all our theology exams or develop world-class lectures, but forfeit our souls?

Heavenly Father, would you empower us by your Spirit this term to grow in taking holistic heed of your tri-personal engagement with us in your word—as those who study it, and also as those who gladly submit to it, are shaped by it, and are doers of it.


  • Ken Berding Jan. 25, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Thanks for that quote, Rob. An exceedingly important warning...

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