I begin by confessing that I almost opted not to participate in this blog tour of What the Bible Means to Me. The title suggested to me that the book might be advocating a hermeneutic that I am uncomfortable with, namely a reader-response kind of approach. But there is great clarification in the subtitle: Testimonies of How God’s Word Impacts Lives. Or in Hirschian terms, this book is really less about meaning and more about significance.
That being said, I was glad that that I did not follow my initial negative reflex. What the Bible Means to Me contains forty-four testimonies about the personal, powerful, and practical ways that the Bible has impacted lives of people all across the socio-economic spectrum. Contributors include a politician and preachers, authors and artists, a bus driver and barista, missionaries and a midwife, a translator and television producer, a chairman of the board and a chaplain, a principle and a professor, a nurse, a student, and others. Some of the names I recognized (e.g. J. I. Packer) but most I did not. Nonetheless, each person has their own story, and yet each story is connected to the others by a shared love and appreciation for the Scriptures.
As might be expected in a diverse work like this, some of the stories resonated with me more than others. But the cumulative effect was uplifting. As one who has committed his life to the proclamation of the Scriptures, my heart was encouraged by the fact that the Bible appears to play such a profound role in the lives of so great a cloud of witnesses.
Thanks to Christian Focus Publications for the review copy and inviting me to participate in this blog tour.