Rethinking ‘Quiet Time’ with Scripture (Jen Wilkin)

Why do many Christians elevate the practice of “quiet time”: solitary, often hurried and brief daily Bible-reading? Jen Wilkin—author, speaker, and leader of many Bible studies—challenges this practice. She believes that, rather than instilling deep Bible literacy, the typical “quiet time” encourages shallow reading and pursuit of instant gratification in the form of cheap satisfaction or vague encouragement at the expense of comprehension.

Reading any book this way would not yield a thorough grasp of its themes, narrative, characters, and worldview, Jen Wilkin says, so why read the Bible this way? While affirming its inerrancy, Jen cautions against treating Scripture like a magic 8-ball. The practice of quiet time is indeed formative, but not necessarily for the better. She proposes an alternative method of Bible study involving, among other things, extended (if not daily) reading and regular input from other careful Scripture-readers.

Show notes:

  • 0:25 The problem with “quiet time”
  • 8:06 English literature and magic 8-balls
  • 18:56 Setting low expectations for Bible literacy in the church
  • 23:17 The effectiveness of raising the bar
  • 31:21 Why Jen Wilkin focuses on an audience of women

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