I didn’t plan on this post, but it came as a reaction to an article I read two weeks ago.  The reaction came most strongly as I analyzed how I read the article.  I read it quickly and was very assuming.   

The first time I skimmed through the article and set it aside.  I understood Piper was likening the NPP folks the Pharisees of Christ’s day.  I reread the same points and same thing.  BUT THEN, as I read it again, slowly, I saw this was not his point in writing.  He was appealing to Romans to refute one of the main claims of the NPP; that the Jews of Christ’s days weren’t trying to work themselves into the people of God, they were already born into it and under grace.  The Judaism of Christ’s day, they say, wasn’t about moralism so much as racial distinction and being the true people of God.  One lesson I learned- READ SLOWLY and CAREFULLY, especially as the stakes and import of what is being read rises. 

In a class I took, one student heckled another, “In the footnotes it says??  WHO READS THE FOOTNOTES??” and a couple weeks later, “Hey, I was making fun of you the other night for reading the footnotes.”

Carfeul, assiduous study leads to engaging the author- understanding what he did say and not purporting what he did not.  I am guilty of being sloppy and assuming in my study.  As I’ve seen it in others, I commend all the more reading less and understanding more.  My resolution is to not  pat myself on the back for volume of material conquered, but to aim more for depth and engagement with the author and material.