Getting Fluent in Faith’s First Language
Book of Faith invites this entire church to become more fluent in faith’s first language—Scripture.
“The careful reading of Scripture opens up the possibility of hearing a voice other than our own,” said Diane Jacobson, professor of Old Testament at Luther Seminary and director of the ELCA Book of Faith initiative.
“We live in a secular world,” Jacobson said. “Everything reminds us of a movie or television show. Jesus doesn’t enter naturally into our conversations. Developing a biblical imagination allows this to happen.”
Book of Faith is a five-year ELCA initiative, launched in August 2007, that invites this entire church to become more fluent in faith’s first language—Scripture. The initiative, funded by mission support, was approved by the 2007 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.
The overall goal is to renew, enliven, and empower people for mission and service by reading and studying God’s Word. The first year goal is to invite everyone at all levels of the church to join the conversation, make a commitment, and become part of the initiative.
Jacobson’s role as director of the initiative involves traveling the United States half-time—when not teaching at Luther Seminary—in order to encourage Lutherans to experience more fully the power of the Word and to learn together about Lutheran approaches to Scripture that have been fruitful over the centuries.
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Training sessions geared toward adult educators with conversations about teaching the Bible will also be part of the initiative.
Jacobson added, “When you experience challenging or joyous or frightening circumstances in the world, you can bring Scripture to the process of thinking about them. In other words, God becomes a player instead of being incidental to your experience.”