Catholics get a bad rap from denominational faiths that we do not utilize or dive deep into the scriptures. We know this to be furthest from the truth as at a minimum we hear the Word proclaimed every week at Mass. Could we use more time in Scripture however? Certainly, we all could, myself included. However, this may seem like a daunting task. Thankfully Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and Sonja Corbitt come to the rescue in their book Ignite: Read the Bible Like Never Before.
Ignite is the perfect guide for those who want to know more about the Bible. The title is not merely a play on words. By the time you complete this book your love of, and desire for, scripture study will be literally ignited. Let’s face it if you’ve ever heard Deacon Harold speak you know he is a man on fire for the faith. AND if you are familiar with Sonja Corbitt the Bible Evangelista than you definitely know of her love of scripture. What do you get when you combine the two as collaborators on one title? Hold on tight because you are in for a real treat.
Right out of the gate you will be exposed to the study method of lectio divina. For those unfamiliar with this study method this is where one places themselves into the scripture passage they are reading. A few years ago this method was brought to prominence by Pope Benedict XVI. You imagine the sights, the smells, the sounds around you. All the while, you open your heart and mind to what the Lord is speaking to you in the passage. An interesting twist is the shortcut acronym for achieving success providing in the book:
LOVE which is really how we should all feel about the Bible. Once this study method is established, and trust me, in one chapter you’ll have a complete understanding, the journey begins. You will discover that scripture is indeed a journey, and an adventure that outlines salvation history. The authors cover this by taking a look at the who, what, where, when, how and why of the Bible. In brief:
Who – Who is God and how exactly does he reveal himself to His people
What – What is the Bible all about? What is its purpose?
Where – setting of the Bible’s story
When – how the liturgical calendar impacts world history
How (Old Testament) – How God’s people worshipped him in the Old Testament
How (New Testament) – How people of the New Testament worship God
Why – details why the Bible is called a love letter with God
Each of these chapters end with what are called “God prompts” which are scripture passages followed by sample applications of the L-O-V-E method of study. A feature that is extremely helpful in mastering the concept.
My verdict on Ignite? GET IT! Of all the scripture study books I have had the pleasure to review over the years, this book is one of the few that builds a foundation for Bible study and does it well. After working your way through this volume, you will be prepared for a lifetime of deep study in the scriptures. Many kudos to Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and Sonja Corbitt for this collaborative work that will be appealing to both men and women while for providing an excellent tool for spiritual growth.
To learn more about the book listen to Off the Shelf 035 with Sonja Corbitt.