Many Christians make New Year's resolutions to read the Bible more, and theologian John Piper is encouraging believers to read it daily, in four places, and study it from cover-to-cover within a year.
But the method of reading God's Word isn't nearly as important as the reason why Christians read the Bible, Piper says.
In a New Year's Day "Ask Pastor John" post on Desiring God, the former pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, explained why he used the Discipleship Journal Reading Plan — a free resource available online — in 2017 and will be using it again this year.
"The way it works is — this is why I use it and why I recommend it — there are four different places in the Bible where you read every day," Piper explained.
"By reading these four different places, you complete the entire Bible in one year. Two of those places are in the New Testament, two of them are in the Old Testament."
Because the New Testament is much shorter than the Old Testament, the two daily readings from the New Testament are much shorter, which "has the great advantage of combining both a broad scope of reading and a narrow-intensified reading," the theologian went on to say.
The Discipleship Reading Plan schedules reading assignments for 25 days out of the month, leaving some days for catch up.
Yet the larger issue is not so much the specific method or daily Bible reading plan, but why and what happens when one engages God's Word, Piper said.
"I think the ultimate goal of every Christian should be to glorify God in your life every day — or, to use the words of Philippians 1:20, to magnify Christ in your body, whether you live or whether you die," he continued.