(Photo: Saddleback Church)
Pastor Rick Warren continues to push members of his Saddleback Church campuses in Southern California and more than 6,200 other churches globally toward improved biblical literacy as his 40 Days in the Word campaign winds down this week.
In addition to being able to access daily video devotions from 40 pastors recruited by Warren to contribute their teaching to the study, those who have registered online can also receive encouragement from his email devotions. This week, Warren wrote that the "Bible's cohesiveness proves it true."
"Only God could have put the Bible together. It is 66 books written over 1,600 years by 40 different authors – and it has one theme," Warren stated. "It is one of the reasons we know that the Bible is God's Word: It has a single unified theme. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is all about God redeeming man. Jesus is its star."
The best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life, launched the 40-day study during worship services of the third weekend in January by preaching that the Bible is not only historically and prophetically accurate, but scientifically trustworthy as well.
"The fact that the Bible has only one theme is nothing short of a miracle. It'd be one thing if one person wrote the Bible. The Koran was written by one person, Mohammed. The Analects of Confucius were written by Confucius. The writings of Buddha were written by Buddha. You'd expect them to be uniform," wrote Warren in his devotion.
"The pictures, metaphors, analogies, and illusions – from beginning to end – are about God's plan to redeem people and build a family for eternity. It all began with him. You can see him in every book.
"That's a miracle."
The 40 Days in the Word campaign was initiated out of Warren's conviction that many Americans are biblically illiterate.
"They just don't know the Word of God ... Our parents' generation knew the Word of God pretty well. My generation knew a little bit. The next generation knows none of it," he said in December.
On Thursday, Warren tweeted, "If u r 1 of 6,289 churches learning Bible Study Methods thru #40DaysInTheWord tell me your story! PastorRick@saddleback.com."
Saddleback Church member and small group leader Howard Mazer told The Christian Post Friday that the study is a great help in developing healthy spiritual habits.
"The nature of the study is such that there are daily devotions, daily readings, and daily study – none of which is overwhelming from a time standpoint," Mazer explained. "By repeating these things over and over again over these few weeks it is creating positive habits."
He says the campaign has also helped him and others develop the discipline needed to grow in faith.
"It's had a great impact on the group because it helps the members of the group have better discipline in their daily quite time. People are in the Word every day. They are looking at Scripture from different perspectives. It has helped people grow spiritually. It has helped them get greater insight into God's Word," Mazer said.
Robin Davis, a church member who attends a satellite campus in Corona, told CP that she has had regular quiet time of personal Bible study and prayer for years, but has found that the variety of ways to study God's Word provided in the campaign has been amazing.
"Such a wealth of information we have been given to fit to various scriptures. I am facilitating a women's small group and the group is growing together in the study of the Word each day," Davis said.
She considers the best part of the study to be a call to action known as the Micah 6:8 Project.
"We donated diapers and formula to a Mom at the Corona Rescue Mission and we were so blessed. Also provided frozen meals for a family where the Mom had surgery and the Dad is out of work. Small things for us to do but such a blessing for the family," Davis said. "Because we were committed to the 40 Days in the Word study we committed to the Micah 6:8 Project and have followed through. We have all been richly blessed by 40 Days in the Word."
On the Web: http://www.40daysintheword.com/