It would be malpractice for a lawyer to file a brief with a court without knowing, citing, and conveying the relevant statute. In fact, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter once told his students at Harvard Law School that there were three keys to interpreting a law: “(1) Read the statute. (2) Read the statute. (3) Read the statute.”
If reading a statute is an essential practice for a lawyer to interpret the law, then it stands to reason that knowing the Bible is an essential practice for a Christian to interpret the God who wrote it (2 Timothy 3:16). Yet, many of us reading this blog today will simply read the post (written by a mere human being) and not read the relevant Bible passage (written by the Creator of the universe).
The aim of The Park Forum is not to make you feel guilty about not reading the Bible. Rather, The Park Forum exists to help city dwellers access the Bible more readily. Accordingly, we are in the process of creating city-friendly Bible studies for small groups (i.e., daily 10-minute quiet times that that will be available on iPhone applications, etc.), developing reading skills directly applicable to the Bible, and building the “843 acres of the near future” that looks at current events through a Biblical lens (under the theory that, if you can see that the Bible is alive on the pages of your city paper, you will be more likely to pick up the Word on your own).
So, why does The Park Forum believe that knowledge of the Word is essential for a Christian? As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2:4-5
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. (emphasis mine). NIV.
(1) The Park Forum believes that our faith cannot rest on men’s wisdom. All over the world, pastors and church leaders tell their congregants what the Bible says (which is important, Hebrews 10:25), but they rarely teach them how to read it. As a result, many Christians do not know what they believe and simply repeat what they hear. This practice is dangerous because it results in a faith that rests on men’s wisdom, which pales in comparison to God’s (1 Corinthians 1: 25: “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom …”).
(2) The Park Forum believes that our faith must rest on God’s power. Only the word of God has a guarantee on it. In Isaiah 55:11, the LORD says, “[The word that goes out from my mouth] will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” To the extent that our words are either not the Word of God or not closely implied from it, our words have no such guarantee.
In the next few months, you will see various ways by which we hope to get you excited to read the Word on a daily basis. We hope that we will get you to see that, “As the Park is to the City, so the Word is to Life” – democratic, playful, enjoyable, restful, explorable, and communal. We hope that you’ll join us on this journey of placing our faith on God’s power and not in men’s wisdom.