(Author Interview) Gary Millar

There many reasons why folks don’t read the Bible. Let me highlight some of them here. One is that it is so mystical that we can’t read and understand what it’s message. This reason is connected with the second one that I think people don’t bother to pick up the Bible. That is the Bible are for those intellectuals or Bible scholars. In his new book, Read This First, Gary Millar blows these obstacles and help readers to get into reading the Bible. I reach out to him and ask a few questions.

Kindly tell us about yourself.

Sure. My name is Gary Millar. I’ve been married to Fiona for almost 30 years and we have three daughters. I was a pastor in Ireland (where I was born) for 17 years before we moved to Australia, where I’ve been the Principal of Queensland Theological College in Brisbane for 10 years.

 How important is reading the Bible for yourself? 

It’s the most important thing to do each day. Hearing God speak through his word is what calls me back to him and sets me up to seek to live for Jesus in his strength each day – reminds me of the gospel!

 Can we just let a pastor or church do the reading for us?

 I’m passionately committed to the truth that God teaches us as his family when we are gathered together to hear his word preached by properly qualified men (e.g. Titus 1:5-9), but we are also to read the Bible for ourselves that we may hear God speak between Sundays. Jeremiah 31:31-34 makes clear that as the people of God who live under the new  covenant, we have the Spirit, and God’s ‘Torah’ (instruction) written on our hearts so that we can understand it and do it.

In the evangelical landscape what can you say about the problem of Bible illiteracy the greatly affects our Bible reading?

 I think there are several challenges (at least in Australia).

First,  We don’t value habit and discipline any more (we value spontaneity) which undermines Bible reading. Second,  the general level of exposure to the Bible in our society has fallen through the floor. And third, our preaching tends not to include any thought of helping people to read the Bible for ourselves.

 How about you, what’s your experience the first time you pick up the Bible?

 I grew up in a Christian family , and am so thankful that my parents taught me to read the Bible, and encouraged me to do it every day from about the age of 8 or 9. I’m a creature of habit, so that was a precious gift!

Personally, how did personal Bible reading help you as a Christian?

 Here’s a few that I want to share. It has always shaped my thinking, as well as speaking into my life to lead me to repentance and faith, as God shows me both myself and himself!

In your book, Read This First , you didn’t hold back on those difficult passages and encourage readers to read on, that’s my favorite part of the book. Which part of the book you enjoyed most in writing?

To be honest, I enjoyed writing the whole thing! Helping people to see the richness and clarity of the Bible is a privilege.

Feels like you’re making this book very accessible and easy to read. Can you tell us more about it?

 It was born during my time as a pastor. When people first became Christians, it seemed a big ask to jump right into reading the Bible, especially when they didn’t have any background in church or the Bible That’s why I set out to write a book about the Bible which doesn’t use any jargon at all, helps to build people’s confidence to read even the hard bits, as well as explaining basic things like why there are little numbers on the page and why there are different versions.

Please tell us the process in writing Read This First.

 ִIt’s not complicated nor mystical. I worked on a detailed outline with my editor, Rachel Jones. Once we agreed that, the process is relatively simple. I send her a chapter every few weeks; Rachel makes it better, I (almost always) agree to her suggestions and we lock in that chapter. When the book is finished, Rachel does a final edit and we make any overall revisions, and then it’s over to the designers and proof-readers, and we wait!

 If there is one takeaway that your readers you want to impart, what is it?

For the readers of my book, Read This First, one takeaway that I would like readers to know is that God speaks through the Bible, and if we read it carefully, submitting to him, we can all get what the Lord of the Universe is saying to us!

Kindly invite our readers to pick up your new book from The Good Book Company.

Sure. Go to The Good Book Company website or Amazon to purchase the book in physical and digital format. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it and please do leave a review of your impression of the book.

Thank you pastor for this opportunity to interview you. So friends, if you want help in reading the Bible, Read This First is a great book. Please grab a copy and enjoy!

(Did you enjoy what you read? Did this article helped you? If yes, you can say “Thank you” by sharing 10 Pesos or more at my G-Cash or Paymaya account: Marianito Gonzales – 09163315535. For international friends, head over this link to buy me a coffee.)

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