One of the major goals of the Spiritual Maturity Project is to enhance Bible readers' knowledge of scripture and confidence in reading. To this end, I have created a course in our Foundations series (three courses), to be launched in a few days. Watch for the announcement.
Becoming fruitful Bible readers faces one major challenge and it reveals an irony. In our pragmatic culture (generally a good), we have adopted a practice of "application" that, ironically, gets in the way of the goal it seeks to achieve.
I'll explain what I mean by way of an example. In Matthew 9:2-8, we find a version of the story about the paralytic whom Jesus heals. It's controversial because Jesus says to the paralytic, "Your sins are forgiven," which causes a debate between Jesus and some religious leaders, who think Jesus is committing blasphemy.
Many, many of us have learned to read the Bible with an eye to application. We want to know how the passage...