I read. A lot.
On an average week, I read 3-5 books, listen to 15-20 podcasts, and read several dozen research articles.
And one of my secrets to this hyperproductive digestion of information is through the use of services, websites, journals, newsletters and, well, “digests” that disseminate information into readily accessible bite-size pieces that allow me to cut through the clutter and quickly get to the main summaries, takeaways and actionable items from all the content.
In addition, I stay up to date with health, medical and science news via the Stone Hearth Newsletters, exercise and nutrition research via the website Suppversity, cutting-edge new fitness and supplement research via the The Examine Research Digest and, for general life knowledge, the Farnham Street blog for staying up-to-date with the best recently published books and articles from around the web.
Furthermore, if you visit my house, my library is massive. There are books everywhere, stacked by my bedside, strewn across the living room coffee table, and, much to the chagrin of my wife, in ever-evolving, towering, overflowing shelves of books in the downstairs office and basement.
But one book rises above them all. I have more copies of this one book than any other book. That book is The Bible.
So when author Rob Bell, my guest on today’s podcast, released his brand new book “What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything”, I not only stayed up until 2am to read the entire thing in a single evening, but I also realized it is the perfect book and Rob is the perfect person to help explain why I like and why I read the Bible so freakin’ much.
Rob is actually the author of ten books, including the New York Times Bestsellers Love Wins, What We Talk About When We Talk About God, The Zimzum of Love, and What is the Bible?. His podcast, called the RobCast, was named by iTunes Best of 2015. He’s been profiled in the New Yorker, toured with Oprah, and in 2011 Time Magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. He has a regular show at Largo, the legendary comedy and music club in Los Angeles, where he lives with wife Kristen and their three kids.
In this new book “What Is the Bible?”, Rob takes us deep into actual passages to reveal the humanity behind the Scriptures. He addresses the concerns of all those who see the Bible as God’s Word but are troubled by the ethical dilemmas, errors, and inconsistencies in Scripture. He recaptures the Bible’s magic and reaffirms its power and inspiration to shape and inspire our lives today.
During our discussion, you’ll discover:
-Why the Bible is a relevant historical book vs. simply, as many would argue, a collection of random, unverified stories mysteriously “inspired by God”…[11:10 & 17:30]
-Why Rob thinks most people read the Bible wrong…[12:50]
-The shocking decline of culture that occurs when the farming advice in the Bible is ignored…[19:07]
-Why the Bible is a “library” and not a single book…[24:00]
-How a story of Herod, Joanna and Jesus turns out to be a fascinating way to explain the depth and intrigue and innuendo in the Bible…[25:40]
-How you can deal with all the “violence” in the Bible…[31:05]
-How Rob accounts for all the seeming inaccuracies or contradictions in the Bible…[40:25]
-Why Americans often miss the major themes in the Bible…[45:30]
-The single best question to ask when you are reading the Bible…[49:15]
-What to do if you want to read the Bible or learn about it, but your family and friends aren’t on board…[56:25]
-And much more!
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Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Rob or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!
Also published on Medium.