“How do you move a mountain?” the Chinese proverb asks. “One spoonful of dirt at a time.” Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin is a book about moving mountains—mountains of biblical ignorance.
You might not think you have a mountain of biblical ignorance to move. When Jen was a teen, she didn’t think she had a mountainous problem either. After all, she was a regular church attender, had a “quiet time,” memorized Bible verses, read devotional books, and attended Bible studies.
But when she was asked to lead a Bible study as a senior in college, Jen suddenly realized she had a problem: a problem of biblical ignorance. She writes,
I carried a secret not uncommon to people with my background: I didn’t know my Bible. Sure, I knew parts of it—I remembered stories from vacation Bible school and I could quote verses from all over the New Testament and Psalms—but I didn’t know how the parts that I knew fit with each other, much less how they fit with the parts I didn’t know yet.
So what did she do? She took the “spoon” someone handed her and began to dig and move that mountain “one spoonful at a time.” Listen to her tenacity:
I intend to go to my grave with dirt beneath my nails and a spoon clutched in my fist. I am determined that no mountain of biblical ignorance will keep me from seeing him [God] as clearly as my seventy or eighty years on this earth will allow.
Did you catch that? Her goal is not to master this Book so she can feel good about all she knows. Her goal is to see God, to know God, to enjoy God. In her words,
Our study of the Bible is only beneficial insofar as it increases our love for the God it proclaims.
As her subtitle indicates, this book is about learning how to study the Bible with both our hearts and our minds. Because, as Jen writes,
If we want to feel deeply about God, we must learn to think deeply about Him. The heart cannot love what the mind does not know.
If you’d like Jen to hand you a spoon so you, too, can start digging, pick up her book, Women of the Word. Among other things, you’ll learn some unhelpful habits of spending time in the Word like:
- The Xanax approach
- The Pinball approach
- The Magic 8 Ball Approach
- The Personal Shopper Approach
- The Telephone Game Approach
Then you’ll learn how to study the Bible with:
- Process, and
Let’s move some mountains, girls.