Sometimes I get really angry with myself and with people like me.
I make things so much more complicated than they are. I put together my systematic theology of predestination and the total depravity of man, and I package it up with a nice bow as if I’ve made sense of the mystery that is God’s simultaneous justice and grace-filled love. I start with a little Wayne Grudem, sprinkle some Christian Hedonism on top and call it a day. I argue Complementarianism vs. Evangelical Feminism with my roommate and she uses the word Hermeneutics while I counter by quoting something I read from the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. And each of us feels very smart for having known the debate better than average Joe, so we pat ourselves on the back and sleep well knowing that we’ve done our homework.
When people ask me questions, I so often use all of the knowledge I have gathered to provide the best answer I can synthesize.
But what if there’s a better way?
What if I didn’t have to rely on my well-read-ness and well-studied-ness to answer questions about God?
What if I occasionally just put a Bible in someone’s hands and trust God to field the theological questions?
That’s what the gospel marathon is about.
Because I’ve led Bible studies, and tried to know everything and have all of the right answers.
But I’ve never experienced something quite as wonder-filled as simply reading the Bible.
Last year was the first time I ever hosted a Gospel Marathon, and for those of you who weren’t there, here’s what it is:
Reading straight through all 4 gospels in one night!
Last year, we had James Earl Jones read the first chapter of Matthew, then we all just took turns, each reading a chapter at a time.
It took us about 7 hours of actual reading.
And those of us who made it through the night went to breakfast together the next morning upon finishing.
We watched the sun rise (well-sort of).
And I’ve never felt the way I felt that morning.
I’ve never known the Bible more intimately.