The Institute Welcomes Carolyn Custis James to Board of Advisors

Carolyn Custis JamesThe Institute for Bible Reading is delighted to announce Carolyn Custis James as the newest member of our Board of Advisors. Carolyn joins Philip Yancey and Andy Crouch on our growing advisory team.

Carolyn is an author, activist, and speaker who researches and writes about the intersection between Christianity and twenty-first century questions facing women and men globally. 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, a consulting editor for Zondervan’s Exegetical Commentary Series on the New Testament, and a contributing editor for Leadership Journal. In 2013, Christianity Today named her one of the 50 evangelical women to watch.

Upon joining the Board of Advisors, Carolyn was asked to comment on the Institute’s work. “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.” She told us, “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.”

Carolyn blogs at, Huffington Post/Religion, and as a Leading Voice at


The Institute Hosts Our First Pastors Gathering

A few weeks ago the Institute was privileged to host our first pastors gathering in Monterey, CA. We have hosted three gatherings of Bible scholars in Chicago and Cape Town, South Africa over the past couple years, but have always wanted to have small, intimate conversations with pastors – the folks on the front lines of seeing people struggle with the Bible – and talk with them about what good Bible engagement in the church looks like.

Pastors Gathering Monterey CA

The event was put together by our friend Kevin Harney, lead pastor at Shoreline Church and author of, among other things, the Organic Outreach series. Twelve pastors from the surrounding area joined us for several hours to talk about questions like, “How do people in your congregation approach the Bible?” and “As a pastor, what types of resources would you like to have to help people read the Bible?”

Sherry Harney and Paul CaminitiAfter describing our perspective on Bible reading and our vision for creating resources to help people read the Bible better, we were excited to see nodding heads and smiles from many of the pastors. “I’ve been so busy preparing sermons, I haven’t read for breadth in years,” one pastor admitted, “If you can get pastors to believe in reading big, that’s huge.” Another pastor told us, “A lot of people are scripturally schizophrenic – this whole idea is a huge mindset shift.”

Having perspectives, challenges, and encouragement from pastors is extremely important and helpful for us. If we are going to give people brand new Bible reading experiences, we want to make sure with pastors first that what we’re doing will work well in a church environment. We are looking forward to having more of these conversations with pastors all across the country.

Are you a pastor? Would you like to help put together something similar to this? Contact us, we’d love to talk!


Andy Crouch Joins Board of Advisors

Andy CrouchWe are excited to welcome Andy Crouch as the second member of our Board of Advisors, joining Philip Yancey. Andy is the author of Strong and Weak, Playing God, and Culture Making, as well as the executive editor of Christianity Today. He serves on the governing boards of Fuller Theological Seminary, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and Equitas Group, and is a senior fellow of the International Justice Mission’s IJM Institute.

When asked about the Institute Andy says, “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.”


Scot McKnight Blogs About Saving The Bible From Ourselves

Scott McKnightScot McKnight is a Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary near Chicago, IL as well as a renowned speaker, theologian, author, and blogger. Today he published a blog post featuring Glenn Paauw’s book Saving the Bible From Ourselves and pointed his followers to the Institute for Bible Reading to continue pondering his questions about good Bible reading!

We are thankful for Scot’s perspective and his concern for seeing the Bible flourish in the hands of scholars and laypeople alike. Click the link below to go to his blog post and click here to order a copy of Saving the Bible From Ourselves.

Patheos — Jesus Creed: Questions About Bible Reading