Creating Out Of Necessity

Fred Sanders wrote a great article here at The Gospel Coalition, talking about our need in the Church today to be intense students of the Scriptures. I thought this was just great. You should read the article, but I included a section below (which I try not to do, but it was some great stuff to think through).

He says,

“The Christians who labored before us did astonishing things to get the words of Scripture into their minds and hearts, “transfused,” as Bonar said, “through the texture of the soul.” Because of the translators, we have Bibles in our own language, but there’s more to it. The chapters and verses that make Bible navigation easy were invented by very clever believers who wanted to be able to find their way around in the Bible rapidly and precisely. The ancient Christian practice of reading one text in the light of others took on new precision and detail: a vast web of cross-references was spun. Concordances followed. Only people who knew their lives depended on their ability to navigate the Bible would have put such an infrastructure in place.

Think of the tools and helps for Bible memorization that somebody thought of at some point in our past. Of the Bible verses you know by heart, how many of them were put into your mind by hymns and songs? But the classic, English-language hymn that puts biblical language into verse form was an invention of a previous generation that was thinking creatively about how to get Scripture into the minds and hearts of Christians. It is a tool that once did not exist, but came into being to answer a need.

Has the generation of Christians now living added anything as good as verses or hymns to the stock of Christian tools? Are we drawing on the resources of previous generations without replenishing?”

– Fred Sanders