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Parallel 4

"Why is it Hard to form a Habit of Bible Reading?” : A Practical Theological Reflection on Daily Bible Reading


Dr. Sarah SHEA

Assistant Professor of Christian Education

Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary

Contemporary Christian practice of daily Bible reading expose a palpable discrepancy between belief and practice. While most Chinese Christians acknowledge the importance of Bible reading to their religious life, they rarely sustain a habit of daily Bible reading. Throughout the years, the majority of evangelical congregations in Hong Kong have been promoting the importance of daily Bible reading but have met with limited success. In this paper, the author attempts a practical theological reflection guided by the question, "Why is it hard to sustain a habit of daily Bible reading?” Starting with the author’s observation of Bible reading practices among Chinese evangelical communities, the reflection will be undertaken from two angles: firstly, with the insights of a survey study of Bible reading behavior in the United States of America, and secondly, in the light of the tradition of patristic interpretations of lectio divina. The aim of these critical conversations is to complexify our understanding of the practice of daily Bible reading to the extent that would allow us to differentiate patterns of forces and dynamics that shape it. This study intends to offer a reasoned dissent, showing that simply increasing contact with the biblical text is not sufficient to form a habit of Bible reading. The “diligence” required in daily Bible reading comes from a desire to encounter God who speaks to us in the sacred text.


Dr. Sarah Shea

Assistant Professor of Christian Education, Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary

Vice President, Asia Academy of Practical Theology (Hong Kong) 


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