Exploring Personhood 2023

Dru Johnson: Will We Ever Again Bother with Scripture?

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Are we going to have scripturally formed people or not? If so, things have to change.

While there has been a small tidal shift toward rituals and liturgies in the American evangelical world, there has been a simultaneous decline in Bible literacy—and Bible literacy isn’t even the goal. Bible fluency gives us a model for the ability to know Scripture and how it works (literacy) and to speak Scripture’s thinking into circumstances never imagined by the biblical authors in its grammar and with its vocabulary (fluency). Why has Bible literacy been largely neglected in the liturgical resurgence and how would inner-biblical thinking about liturgical formation critique the recent liturgy movements? Daily Bible rituals (e.g., daily quiet times and devotionals) have become distortive for a new generation unfamiliar with the deep structures of thinking across Scripture. Dr. Dru Johnson (Kings College, NCY) suggests that long-form Bible engagements coupled with intensive literary encounters with Scripture might be the best rituals for grounding and trueing the formative value of the emerging neo-ritualized Christianity. Dr. Johnson’s lecture is titled, “Will We Ever Again Bother with Scripture? Practicing Bible Literacy and Fluency in a Neo-Ritualized Christianity.”

This talk was delivered on Friday, February 3 at Exploring Personhood: Human Formation. The conference began with the authority of the Scriptures and Christian theology. We then invited perspectives from the sciences (counseling and psychology), humanities (ethics, biblical studies, philosophy, and theology), and pastoral ministry. Our aim was to foster an interdisciplinary dialogue on the Imago Dei and embodiment — all for the glory of God and the good of the world.


All opinions and views expressed by guest speakers are solely their own. They do not speak for nor represent SEBTS. Read our expressed views and confessions.

This project was made possible through the support of grant #61985 from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s)and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.

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Dru Johnson

Dru Johnson is an associate professor of biblical and theological studies at The King’s College in New York City, director of the Center for Hebraic Thought, editor of the Routledge IPBC monograph series, host of The Biblical Mind podcast, and co-host of the OnScript Podcast.

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