Last week I finished a six-week course at Grace Leadership Institute entitled “How to Read and Interpret the Bible” taught by Dr. Chris Ansberry of Grove City College. It began as a whimsical suggestion to my church LifeGroup, what if we take a break from our typical weekly meetups and take a class instead? They were game. 

I’ll confess to entering the experiment with lowish expectations. Because of my undergraduate training at a Christian university, I have just short of a minor in Bible. What I mean to say is, I was arrogant. I already knew how to read the bible, right? 

Firstly, the instructor is fantastic. He strikes the balance between informed and organized, open-minded and responsive. I enjoyed engaging in class each week. I also appreciated the once-a-week class format, but I imagine a weekend course has its benefits too.  

Secondly, wow, did I gain some perspective. One of my main takeaways amounts to the oft-quoted and variously attributed aphorism: “In essentials unity, in nonessentials liberty, and in all things charity.” Given the wide range of translations for even the most uncontroversial bit of scripture, it led me to conclude that an equally wide range of interpretations or applications is not only understandable but to be expected. Enter the opportunity to grow in Grace toward my fellow believers.  

Finally, taking this course has made me a savvier disciple. I have a deeper understanding of scripture, and my approach to influencing others for Christ has been enhanced. I am humbled at how much I learned and grateful for the opportunity to grow.  

Let me encourage you to build your personal disciple profile by taking one of the upcoming courses: The Story of the Bible, Old Testament, and The Story of the Bible, New Testament. You’ll be glad you did!