Who We Are

Our story began in the Bible publishing industry, when we were challenged by the emerging trend that despite reliably high Bible sales, more people than ever are giving up on reading the Bible.

This led to years of extensive research about the underlying problems behind the current Bible engagement paradigm and how to counteract those problems with real solutions. Using our new perspective we created resources like The Bible in 90 Days, The Story, The Books of the Bible, and Community Bible Experience that have generated over 6 million participants worldwide.

We are now a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Through ongoing research projects, education initiatives, and the creation of new Bible reading resources, our mission is to change the way the world reads the Bible.

What We Believe

We believe the Bible is a gift from God. Through the Scriptures we are able to know God, to be remade in the image of Christ, and to become agents of his restoration in a broken world.

Yet the Bible is not magic – it must be received well. In many ways we’ve been missing out on the full impact of this gift because we haven’t received it on its own terms. Many of the prevailing ways we read the Bible today are deeply broken, resulting in millions of people struggling to read the Bible and receive its gifts.

What if we knew the Bible, deep down in our bones? What if we loved the Bible? We believe in the importance of helping people understand what it means to read and live the Bible well. Once it’s received on its own terms, God’s Word will open up to be the transforming force it’s meant to be.

Our Team

Scott Bolinder
Executive Director

Scott handles executive administration and strategic leadership of IFBR and also serves as our chief fundraising officer.

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Scott Bolinder is a veteran publisher engaged almost four decades in Christian publishing in executive roles at Christianity Today, Zondervan, and Biblica. While serving as Biblica’s Executive Vice President in 2014, Scott was instrumental in establishing the Institute for Bible Reading. He also currently serves on several non-profit boards: Theological Book Network, Jerusalem University College, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, and Twelve12: Hope. Scott currently lives in Grand Rapids, MI.
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Glenn Paauw
Senior Director, Content

Glenn oversees editorial and content for all IFBR publications and speaks on our behalf in a variety of contexts.

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The focus of Glenn’s 30 years in Bible ministry has been publishing, researching, speaking, and writing on the topic of reading and living the Bible well. His book Saving the Bible from Ourselves is available from InterVarsity Press. He is a leader in the development of Reader’s Bibles, and is currently working on Immerse: The Reading Bible for Tyndale House. Glenn’s education was in philosophy and theology at Calvin College and Seminary. He lives in Colorado Springs, CO.
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Paul Caminiti
Senior Director, Mobilization

Paul creates opportunities to advance the Bible Reading Movement through partnerships with like-minded organizations and churches.

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Paul Caminiti has been a cultural innovator for the Bible for over two decades. As the Bible Publisher at Zondervan and Vice President of Bible Engagement at Biblica, he helped launch The Bible in 90 Days, The Story, and Community Bible Experience. His interviews have appeared in: Newsweek, The New Yorker, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and NBC News. Paul currently lives in Grand Rapids, MI.
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Alex Goodwin
Senior Director, Marketing Communications

Alex oversees all of IFBR’s print and digital communications channels, growing awareness of the Bible Reading Movement and its impact.

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Alex Goodwin got his Marketing degree from Virginia Tech in 2012 and promptly moved west to Colorado, where he joined the Institute when it was a part of Biblica. He served as a project manager until the Institute became independent in 2016, transitioning into a leadership role overseeing all marketing and communications. He also assists in editorial and resource development, and humbly serves as the de-facto “IT Help Desk.” Alex currently lives in Colorado Springs, CO.
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Board of Advisors

Andy Crouch
Bio

Andy Crouch is a writer, editor, public speaker, and musician. He serves on the governing boards of Fuller Theological Seminary and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and is a senior fellow of the International Justice Mission’s IJM Institute. His book Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling won Christianity Today’s 2009 Book Award for Christianity and Culture and was named one of the best books of 2008 by Publishers Weekly, Relevant, Outreach and Leadership. For over ten years he was an editor and producer at Christianity Today, including executive editor from 2012 to 2016. He joined the John Templeton Foundation in 2017 as senior strategist for communication.

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“Our world is saturated with words. And in one sense we’ve never had more access to the Word — on paper and on screens. But that very saturation makes the challenge of encouraging true reading, and transformative engagement, with Scripture far more complex than it has ever been.

“The leaders of the Institute for Bible Reading are among the most restless, insightful, and creative people I know. Anyone who cares about Bible engagement should beat a path to their door.”

Carolyn Custis James
Bio

Carolyn Custis James is an author, international speaker, and activist. Her 2015 book Malestrom: Manhood Swept into the Currents of a Changing World won the Christianity Today 2016 Book of the Year Award in the Her.meneutics category, and was named to the Best 10 Books of 2015 list by Missio Alliance. Carolyn also serves as an adjunct faculty member at BTS (Biblical Theological Seminary) in Pennsylvania and as a consulting editor for Zondervan’s Exegetical Commentary Series on the New Testament. She blogs at www.carolyncustisjames.com, HuffingtonPost/Religion, and as a Missio Alliance Leading Voice.

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“Like electricity, running water, well-stocked grocery stores, and endless miles of smooth paved roads, easy access to the Bible and the ability to own a copy are privileges we take for granted. We’ve lost sight of what it took to write this much-neglected book and the price many paid to get it into our hands.

“We’re missing out on the life-transforming wisdom and the hope-filled good news it proclaims. Nothing should hold us back from diving into the grandest and best story ever told and to discover afresh the God who loves us and draws us into his story. I am grateful to be part of a movement that aims to help us do exactly that.”

Bio

Glenn Packiam is an associate senior pastor at New Life Church and the lead pastor of New Life Downtown in Colorado Springs, CO. He was one of the founding leaders and songwriters for the Desperation Band and has written and co-written several well-loved worship songs like “Your Name” and “My Savior Lives.” Glenn has also written several books including Discover the Mystery of Faith, LUCKY: How the Kingdom Comes to Unlikely People, and Secondhand Jesus: Trading Rumors of God for a Firsthand Faith.

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“In an age where narratives are truncated and meaning is shaped only by what we see, Christians hold one of the greatest and most powerful treasures: a Grand Story of Everything. Yet we have chopped our Scripture up and crowded out its contents, leaving its beauty obscured and its message largely ignored. The Institute For Bible Reading is developing fresh and stunning ways of returning us to this treasure. When we used their resources in our congregation, it resulted in the highest engagement we’ve ever had not only in Bible-reading but also in small group participation. The Church is and has always been a community formed around a message, and I believe the Institute’s work helps us to recover this aspect of our identity and vocation”

Meritt Lohr Sawyer
Bio

Meritt Lohr Sawyer has given executive leadership to non-profit organizations for over thirty years as the International Program Director for Langham Partnership International, Vice President of John Stott Ministries, and co-founder of FACT (global leadership development), managing programs in almost 70 countries. Most recently she served as the Executive Director of the Paul Carlson Partnership affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church, an organization dedicated to medical and economic development in the Congo – DRC. Meritt is also active on the boards of Fuller Theological Seminary, Development Associates International, Able Works, and Scholar Leaders.

Read Quote

“For 500 years, the biblical word has been in our hands, galvanized by the Protestant Reformation. Yet the artificially-inserted chapters and verses have distorted the biblical narrative. I was so naive to this reality until the leadership of the Institute for Bible Reading placed their work in my hands.

“Consequently, I have been drawn into the purest, deepest connection with the Lord, Our God knowing I was reading the text in its original form. How can one not be compelled? A new reformation is upon us!”

Bio

Efrem Smith currently serves as Co-lead Pastor at Bayside Midtown Church in Sacramento, California. He consults on issues of multi-ethnicity, leadership, and community development, and has written several books, including The Hip Hop Church, Jump, and The Post-Black and Post-White Church. Efrem speaks and preaches internationally, equipping people for a life of transformation.

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“The Bible is where we first lose ourselves in the story and discover God’s compelling love for us that transcends economic, social, ethnic or any other status. Then, we are invited to find ourselves in the Bible, to discover our role in God’s great restoration story. The Institute for Bible Reading is doing important work to give us the tools to read the Scriptures well so we can live them well.

“Furthermore, the leaders of the Institute love the local church and are dedicated to serving pastors and their congregations for the long haul. Their focus, diligence, and innovation are ushering in a new era of Bible reading that I believe might just bring about needed revival!”

Philip Yancey
Bio

Philip Yancey is a Christian author of over twenty books, including ECPA Christian Book of the Year Award winners The Jesus I Never Knew and What’s So Amazing About Grace? His books have garnered 13 Gold Medallion Awards from Christian publishers and booksellers and have been published in 35 languages worldwide. Philip currently serves as editor-at-large for Christianity Today.

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“No book has had greater impact on history. No book has sold more copies — or sat unread on more shelves. The Institute is committed to getting the Bible read, and understood, a worthy goal that just might start the spiritual renewal this world needs.”