Chad Mansbridge Reveals the Key to Unlocking Scripture

Show Notes

Want to learn how to read scripture better?  What is the key to reading the bible? Join me in this enlightening episode as I sit down with Chad Mansbridge, an accomplished author and pastor, to unravel the secrets of biblical interpretation.

Chad shares his expertise on hermeneutics, guiding us through a three-step process of reading, understanding, and applying the Scriptures.   Explore how to navigate the challenges of interpreting ancient texts and discover the significance of uncovering the author’s intended meaning. Whether you want to enhance your sermons or deepen your understanding, this episode will equip you with the tools to master biblical interpretation.  

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All right, well, welcome everyone, back to another episode of Faithfully Engaged. I have a really neat guest on today. We’re going to get into hermeneutics church, planting all the fun stuff that pastors do.

And if you don’t know what those terms mean, then Chad can help us out there. So let me throw it to Chad real quick. Why don’t you tell the audience a little bit about yourself, hermeneutics bro? It’s a real nerdy term. So what a great way to start a podcast?

That’s great, Johnny. Listen, my name is Chad, and I’m coming to you down under from Australia, and hence a time zone. Your evening at the moment, my morning in my young 40s, let’s just put it that way. I have four kids, been married over 20 years. And when we were 23 years of age, my wife and I planted or planted a church in my hometown, essentially where I’d grown up.

So we led that church for 20 years as the senior leaders or lead pastors or whatever term people like to use, and recently transitioned the role there to a younger couple late last year in 2022. We’ve now moved to the eastern coast of Australia, north of Sydney. I think most of your listeners, no matter where they are in the world, have probably heard of Sydney, Australia. Okay, so basically halfway between Sydney and a place called the Gold Coast, which is also a fairly popular place. And so we’re on that eastern seaboard of Australia at the moment.

We’ve been here for in a place known as Coss Harbor and been here since September 2022, essentially since we handed over our church. And, yeah, we’re plugged into a new church minister on the road as much as we can and have the privilege every now and again of doing podcasts with gentlemen like yourself, mainly based around a couple of the books that I’ve written over the years. Yeah, well, let’s kind of jump into that. Tell me about some of these books that you’ve written. Are there common themes on them?

Yeah, just kind of go more in depth on your writing career. Oh, cool. So, look, the author side of my career, as it were, really kind of low on the rung as far as how much of that I’ve done over my 20 years planting a church. And the way we planted a church, which was essentially from scratch. There was a group of three or four families that were gathering together where we had a relational connection.

And we kind of took that on and that became a church. But to say that it was sort of all consuming in those first few years and when being 23, we really cut our teeth and had little to no experience in preaching and leading and that kind of thing. But it was around about six or seven years in, I think in about 2010, that I really came to see something in the Scripture the importance of understanding covenant, to understand the meta narrative of Scripture. The meta narrative is simply a nerdy way of saying the big story of the Bible. Yes, the Bible is full of a lot of stories, but ultimately it’s one story.

There is one story in the Bible. And even though the Bible is not set out in a chronological fashion which would really help people see the big story if it was, it’s just not. It’s grouped. The books are grouped according to the style of literature of each book or the genre for the most part. But there is a big story.

There is a big narrative. And it was when I was walking my church through a series in the Book of Galatians that talks a lot about the comparison between the relationship people have because of Jesus. That’s what you and I enjoy today and Christians enjoy today compared to what people had because of Moses, the agreement that God’s people had with Moses. But it goes beyond that. The Book of Galatians also talks about the relational agreement that people had because of Abraham.

And so as I was reading through Galatians, I really needed to help my church understand and even myself understand the difference between the covenant given to Abraham or the relational agreement that God made with Abraham and his descendants. Then the covenant, the relational agreement that God made with Moses and those people, the Israelites, and then the relational agreement that God made with Jesus. Because one of the things in reading the Scripture that a lot of Christians struggle with is sometimes this idea of God being a little bit know, a little bit multiple personality. Like is the God of the Old Testament really the God of the new how come he’s so different? No, God’s not different.

There’s just different forms of relationship and different contractual. It’s not really the right word but covenantal conditions that he’s given to his people over time. And when we stand back and when we see the big picture when we had a big picture view of the Bible and see that one story thread through, and particularly when we see those high points a covenant he made with Abraham, a covenant he made through Moses, and then a covenant ultimately he makes through Jesus. We appreciate that the one God relates differently to different people over different periods of time. And if we can understand that thread, it opens our understanding up of the Scriptures.

And so my first book basically was about that. It’s a very little book. It’s called he qualifies you the idea is what qualifies people to participate in the blessing of God, basically, or to be participants of his presence and his provision. And I mentioned three things as we look at those three covenants and how that changes over time. And the good news of the gospel is that Jesus qualifies you.

It’s not your birthright, it’s not your pedigree, your natural upbringing, it’s not your performance or religious piety, your obedience to a set of commands that qualifies you for God’s presence and provision. No, it’s your position in Jesus. It’s what Jesus has done and who he is that qualifies you for God’s blessing. And so the title of the book came out from that. He qualifies you.

Yeah, I think that’s such an important concept for Christians to understand. And like you’re saying, I talk often with different Christians that I’m involved with either in a personal life or in my own. I have a Christian counseling practice that some of the clients that I talk with, we get lost in our Bible reading plans or something. We get stuck in Leviticus and like, what on earth is going on here? Everyone gets stuck in Leviticus or pulls out.

It’s like, that’s it. I’m out, I’m ejecting. Right there. Exactly. Too much blood.

And to be able to take that bird’s eye view and understand the big picture there, I’m going to butcher this. But my pastor says this often of how looking at a verse is bigger than looking at that individual word, looking at that passage is bigger than that individual verse. That book is bigger than the chapter and the whole Bible is bigger than that book. We go in that broader perspective there and trying to look at it as a whole, it’s hard to do that sometimes. So I’m imagining through that book and through that lesson in your church, you really helped try to parse that out for people that were kind of losing the force through the trees there 100%.

And that’s exactly the phrase to use. People do. They can’t see the forest for the sake of the trees, as it were. So they’re so focused on the detail. And some people, when they dig into the scripture or nerd out on the Bible, they really do.

They like getting stuck into the intricacies of the Jots and Tittles in the Greek and Hebrew and that kind of situation. And I don’t want to get so serious for a Saturday morning for me, but this is really how some of the most dangerous interpretations of Scripture begin. And even to the point of cults forming is because people focus so much on minutiae or minute detail or one particular statement of the Scripture verse or passage or whatever at the exclusion of a lot of others, and so much harm can be done because of that. And so much healing could come as we take a big step back, understand the big story, see what it’s all about, how things thread. And it’s that bird’s eye view that really helps make sense of the small.

The whole makes sense of the part, and the part is not the whole. Christians do tend to have when we encounter a truth that means a lot to us, and that’s fine. We all have truth that comes alive to us, and we prioritize that truth. We preference it sometimes over others in a sense that’s not necessarily a wrong thing in and of itself, but when we just focus in on one or two things, it can hinder us from seeing that big picture perspective and therefore become unbalanced and unhealthy. Yeah, I think this first book that you talked about leads into kind of what I started the podcast about of just hermeneutics in general.

Now, I went to a kind of sounds self important here. I went to a university, Oklahoma Baptist University, and we studied hermeneutics and things like that. So I’ve heard that perspective, but it is this big scary word and like, what on earth does that even mean? You must have to have this crazy degree to even understand it. So kind of parse that out for our audience here of what is hermeneutics and why is that important for Christians to understand?

Well, I guess that’s a great question because it goes straight from my first book into my second. That first book, He Qualifies, you came out, as I said, about seven years into my ministry life, leading a church. So 2010, I believe, that was first launched. And then what happened is, because of that, I began to be invited to speak at different places. It really meant a lot to different people.

It’s an amazing thing about publishing a book. Even now, every couple of months I’ll hop onto Amazon and see a new review from someone. I’ve got no idea who they are and just saying how much it meant to them. I’m like, wow, isn’t that that’s just know. But one of the things I started to do is to travel and speak in other churches.

And I found out during Q R or Q A sessions that people had a lot of questions about how to interpret the scriptures. And we might have been doing a conference. I was doing at the time that comes to mind right now was a conference on grace. That was supposed to be the focus of the theme for that conference that year. But a lot of the questions that people had about grace weren’t actually questions about grace ultimately, they were questions about how to interpret the Bible properly.

How are we supposed to understand this passage on forgiveness or righteousness or judgment or whatever it is? That sort of doesn’t help me understand grace properly. They were really fundamentally questions on interpreting the scripture and different views that people had on grace. And it’s the same with anything different views that people might have on gifts of the Spirit. So an Oklahoma Baptist college may have a very different view to the scripture, to other colleges in America when it comes to charismatic, when it comes to the gifts of the Spirit.

Well, why are those differences there? Well, it’s actually fundamentally a difference in how we read and interpret the Bible. It’s a difference in Hermeneutics, there’s a difference in how we interpret the scripture. So it really all comes down to that. And so I actually found myself more and more as a pastor and then as a visiting speaker teaching on Bible interpretation.

Ephesians Four talks about a Bible teacher, among other gifts. And it says that the purpose of a Bible teacher is not just to teach the Bible, not just to teach, but to teach others how to teach themselves. Ephesians Four gifts are there to equip the saints, equip the church, to do the ministry themselves. So a good Bible teacher doesn’t just teach you the scripture, they teach you how to handle the Bible yourself, how to read it, and how to interpret that. And so teaching Hermeneutics sort of just became part of the course.

And that is when my second book came out of after years of doing that, I’m like, wow, I need to put a whole bunch of stuff to this together, where people kept asking me to, of course. And that became my second book, which is called you Can Handle the Truth. But basically hermeneutics sounds technical. And it is. I mean, it’s a technical term.

It sounds a little bit nerdy. Essentially, it just talks about how we interpret any kind of literature, not just the know, biblical Hermeneutics is about interpreting the Bible, but Hermeneutics is something we apply all the time. Hermes was the Greek god of communication. Okay, so like all good theology, we sort of take our lead from pagan traditions. Not quite, not quite.

But Hermes was a Greek god of interpretation, so he would basically take the message of the gods and communicate them to people. That’s why in the book of Acts, when Paul and Barnabas were preaching, I think it was in Eliqurium or Derby, the people, you know, Barnabas is like Zeus and Paul’s, like, know. Why do they call Paul Hermes? Because he was the one that did all the speaking. He was communicating a divine message.

And so they say, well, this guy’s Hermes, well, Hermeneutics comes out of that. It’s about interpreting a divine message essentially in our context and making that plain for people. So all literature goes through some interpretation or understanding. And biblical Hermeneutics is how we are supposed to approach our Bible reading, how we read it, how we understand it, and then what the heck we do with it, how do we apply it today. This 3000 year old passage that I’m reading, who cares?

What am I supposed to do with that today? Does it have any implication to me in my culture today? And that’s essentially what Hermeneutics is about, reading literature. Understanding it properly and applying it, if applicable, discovering the implications of it for you today. Yeah, and I think the way that you describe that there, it shows the importance of that and also not just the importance, but the necessity just in general, like you said, any type of literature you’re interpreting that in some way, shape or form.

We were talking off camera for a bit. Chad could hear my kiddos there in the background. And we read books all the a I sit back and think sometimes of the struggles I have as a dad. And this is a great struggle. Like, I’m really gracious to have this struggle that sometimes I get annoyed at how much my kids want me to read all the time.

And I sit back and, like, I’m glad I have that. I want my kids. That’s awesome. But you read the same book so many times. Like, Goodness, can we read something else after a while?

But these books that we’re reading, which are typically like Dr. Seuss or some type of kids type of book there’s some type of meaning in those. It might be a fairly easy meaning to find or a fairly inconsequential one, but it’s there. And my kids are already doing that. They’re already interpreting what God goes about or whatever it may be.

So this is instinctual. It’s just the Bible, I think. And maybe you can speak a little bit more on this in part because there are pieces in there and all of it is written thousands of years ago. That is not the same context that we’re in right now. And it causes some challenges.

So for the audience or just for your church members, they’re like, okay, I get it. I need to interpret it. I know it’s important, but I wasn’t around in 1000 BC or whatever. How am I supposed to make sense of that? How can we encourage people to understand literature that was made so long ago?

Well, one of the things I developed over the years and this was not intentional, I think this just sort of is a natural part of my makeup or temperament or whatever. But I’ve kind of become known as a three point preacher, which means Baptists love me. Okay. There you go. Certainly here in Australia, the three point sermons are quite a Baptist known thing.

Well, I have that as well. And the subtitle to my book, the title is You Can Handle the Truth because it’s about encouraging people to say you can handle the Bible. It’s not a Jack Nicholson reference. It actually comes from two Timothy where Paul says I want you to be a workman or a work person who correctly handles the word of truth. It’s talking about the Bible there correctly handle the Scripture.

There’s a right way and a wrong way, a correct way and an incorrect way to handle the Scripture. I want you to correctly handle it. And my encouragement is you can do that. You can handle the truth. Okay?

But the subtitle is making sense of the Bible in three simple steps. So there’s my three points, okay? Three simple steps to interpreting or understanding the Bible. And this can apply really to almost any literature. And basically, I explain or I articulate those three steps as three questions.

I think it’s really helpful, Johnny. And I’m sure, I mean, you do this as a counselor, encourage people to ask questions, and God is not afraid of our questions. The Bible can handle our questions. Okay? It’s okay to ask questions.

Well, I framed the whole book like that. And there are three steps. So there are three questions where to ask as we approach the Scripture. The first one is, well, what does it say? That’s where you start.

What does the Bible actually say? And to answer that question, you got to read it. There you go. Really simple, right? What does it actually say?

Number two, well, what does that mean? Okay? Because sometimes and people in marriage partnerships or whatever, we know this. What someone says and what they mean can actually be two different things. And it’s the same with God, what the literature says.

But what that means may actually be different. There may be nuance there. So what does it say? What does that mean? And then lastly, what does it matter?

What do I do with it? Who cares? And to your question, thousands of year old texts, what does that matter to me today? What does it say? What does it mean?

What does it matter? And that’s basically how we apply almost any literature. It’s not just unique to the Bible. This might be a rough example, but for those of us who use GPS or Google Maps or something like that, when we’re driving where I drive, if I’m driving down the A one highway, it’s fairly common at times for there to be a red line through the road that I’m driving down. Okay?

My app is telling me that the road is red. That’s what it’s saying. But what does that mean, Johnny? What does it mean that the road is red? I know that’s what it says, but what does it mean?

Does it mean someone painted the road the night before with red paint? Does it mean it’s socialist? Has the government said, well, only red cars are allowed to drive on it that day? Maybe a romantic person thinks, oh, the road’s in love. That’s what it means.

Or a chef might look at that and say, no, the road is hot. Because when I see red, that’s what red means. It means it’s hot. An economist might say, no, the road must be in deficit. What does red mean when the app says the road is red?

And the answer to that question is, it doesn’t matter what red means to you. You’re not that important. Okay, sorry, but what red means to you is insignificant. What matters is what does the author mean? When the authors of that program designed that app to say, to make the road red, what did they mean to communicate?

It is their meaning that matters. And that second step, what does it say? The road is red. What does it mean? That second step is that there’s another fancy term in Hermes called exegesis.

That’s discovering what the author meant when he said such a thing. And this is a really critical step in interpreting the Bible. Many Christians, many of us, have been to Bible studies where we sat around in a circle, read a passage of scripture, and then the leader says, well, what does that mean to you? And we all have a big well, the answer to that is, who cares? I don’t care what it means to you.

That’s not the question. The question is, what does it mean? What does it mean to the author and to the audience that he was originally communicating, to what is in his mind as he wrote those words? And that might sound simple, but with the Bible, it’s pretty difficult because you got two authors always involved. You got the divine author and the human authors.

And these authors speak in nuance and languages and styles that are very ancient and some of them very foreign to us, the figures of speech that they use, for example. But that’s a critical question there, what does it mean? And we have to therefore interpret the meaning of it. And then once we know what the author means, once we know that the men who produced Google Apps or whatever GPS you use, they mean there’s traffic congestion. That’s what they are.

That’s what they mean, is it? They mean the traffic’s busy, right? Okay, we now want to know what the author means. Then I move to the third step, which is what does it matter? What does it matter if there’s busy traffic today?

What do I do with that information? And what I do and what you do might actually be two separate things. I might phone ahead and say, Listen, I’m going to be late. I might turn around and say, well, don’t worry about it, I won’t go today. I might put on a podcast or listen to an audiobook because I know the journey is going to take me a longer time.

I might change my day. I might find a different route, a route on the road to get to where I’m going. I decide to respond to that information, and that’s where application comes in. What’s the implication or application for me of that information? I then decide to respond, and that is the three simple steps of basically how we should interpret the Bible.

Where to read it, what does it say, what does the Bible actually say? So many people debate the Bible, feel they have beliefs about the Bible and never actually read the dancing. You got to read it. What does it say then? Secondly, what does it mean?

What does it mean? And that’s where your Baptists and your Charismatics and different streams will come up with very different understandings of what that text actually means or meant 2000 years ago is what it still means today. What does that mean? So that thirdly, we then conclude, well, what do we do with it today? So to answer your question in how do I help my church know how to apply scripture?

Well, that’s the last stop. That’s the last step. That’s the third thing you got to do. You got to start right back at the beginning. You got to read the Bible well.

You’ve got to do some type of investigation into discovering the meaning and there’s different tools and resources and approaches that you can do to find the meaning of a text. And then you look at application. I really like that approach there. There’s several things that kind of came to my mind with that. The first step there of I find that quite humorous that on goodness you can go anywhere on Twitter or just anything online or offline too, just in general, that you’ll have debates over all sorts of things, whether it be baptism or whatever theological debate that you have there.

And mind you, I don’t think that debate is inherently a bad thing. I think that can be a great thing to be able to here’s my view on this. Here’s this evidence, whatever. That’s great. But like you said, you have a lot of people that get into that debate and they’re basing it off of somebody else’s words, but not off of scripture, not actually reading it.

So what a great place to start is read actually read there first. That’s a fantastic place to start. Don’t form your opinion first, just read it, see what it says. And then I love that piece there of what does it mean? Not what does it mean to you when you were saying that before you brought up the Bible study thing.

That’s where my mind went. That is the perfect example.

And I think this is probably more of just not specifically for those of us in Western countries, but we tend to do this worse, that it’s kind of a me first type of society, and we interject ourselves into things too much instead of just taking that backseat and like, okay, maybe I disagree with this or whatever, but it’s not about me. What was said, what actually happened, fantastic part there. And then like you said, we can get into that application. But that order really does matter because you’re right, we want to skip there to the end, well, what does it mean to me? How do I really get my life in order real quick?

Doesn’t go that way. We need to wait and make sure that we’ve got the order there correct first. And we pastors and preachers. It’s our fault that a lot of the time the Christians go there, because if that’s how pastors present the Scripture from the pulpit and certainly in the sort of circles I come from, there’s more preachers than there are teachers of the Scripture. And preachers generally want to go straight to application and implication.

They want to go straight to the third step. They might read a passage or let’s face it, they might read one verse or half a verse or whatever, right? And they might go straight from there, skip the whole thing about what does this mean? They skip that entirely and go straight to this is God speaking to you, therefore this is what the word of the Lord is for you today, or this is what God wants you to do today. They skip that entire second step because they want to encourage people with the truth, but not take them on the journey of actually discovering that eternal truth first.

And teachers tend to model that a little bit better. I would assume that Oklahoma Baptist College would have been fairly strong on that, but reading the Scripture, then explaining the meaning, and then finally discovering some application, I would imagine certainly in Australia anyway, where I’m from, baptists tend to be fairly better at that process generally in the pulpit. But yeah, if Christians read their Bible just to find application or implications or read it straight away with that lens, it’s probably because they haven’t been taught that properly or demonstrated to them in the pulpit. And I think the onus is on a lot of church leaders to get back to reading the Scripture, explaining its meaning, and then coming to the point of implications and applications for people today, as I’ve said before, to groups of leaders when I’m teaching on preaching, I say your homoletic another fancy term. It basically just means the way you speak publicly, your homoletic will teach people hermeneutics, okay, what you do publicly in the pulpit will teach people how they handle the Scripture privately.

And so the way we present the Scripture publicly as ministers, as pastors is, I believe, really important for that reason also, we are teaching people how they are to handle the Scripture privately in their private life. That’s a really good point there. And I love as a pastor yourself, that you’re taking that onus there. That not just man my church members, they don’t know what they’re doing and just kind of throwing them to the wolves that way. But taking that leadership there and also with other fellow pastors of hey, we need to model this.

And what I love so much about biblical wisdom just in general is. Yes, there is that bit that we need to read the Scripture, we need to go and find it. Yes, but when you sit back and look at your life, some of it, you can say, like, oh, that biblical wisdom really was true just because we see it. We see it in our daily lives. You talking about pastors needing to show that in the way that they’re preaching, show good heromeneutics just by the way they’re preaching again.

I look back to my kids, I can tell them, hey, you guys talking about reading? You guys need to read more often. Stop trying to play games all day. And if I say that while I’m glued to my phone, while I’m glued to playing video games or whatever behind a screen, and I say, you guys need to read more, that’s not going to go over very well, because they’re observing, dad, he’s glued behind a screen. Why shouldn’t I be glued behind a screen?

So that teaching there, that applies in our lives, with our kids, with our spouses, just in general, of course, it applies with churches as well. That’s just the way that we’re built. We kind of emulate the leaders, whether it’s our parents or whether it’s our pastors. Modeling. Modeling, bro, that’s everything.

Yeah. You model something with your lips and your lifestyle. Yeah. And even the way you read to your kids when you read them, those Dr. Seuss books or whatever, you are teaching them just by the way you’re reading, the way you’re finding the rhythm, the way you’re not flipping random pages.

You’re reading one page and then the next reading, you are teaching them. You’re modeling to them how to read. And, yeah, I firmly believe that pastors should do that model to their people how to handle the Scripture. Even now, for me, and this really began during COVID when we started doing this camera thing a lot, okay? Like many pastors, I’d find myself saying, well, I’m going to get a couch on the platform at church or a stool and sit down.

Everyone else is sitting down in their pajamas at home, so I will do that, too. I’ll set a camera up. I’ll be sitting down and just conversing. And then we carried that on into our Sundays once we started coming back into church gatherings again, where for now, it’s actually very common for me in my preaching to have a bar stool on the stage on the platform, and I’ll sit there and teach. And part of that modus operandi, part of the vibe of that, is to model to people, you can do this at home.

As I’m opening the Scripture and as I’m just casually reading it, as I’m thinking each passage through or each sentence through, sentence by sentence, I’m inadvertently modeling to people how they should read the Bible at home as well. And so that’s why on my book, you can handle the truth when you choose a book cover. It’s sort of a big decision. How do you choose a book cover? And most people say, look, don’t put your own face on the book cover unless you’re a massive big name speaker.

Everyone knows what a TD. Jakes looks like, or a Tim Keller or whatever, whoever your elk is, you don’t really put you but I did. I thought, no, I want this feeling of sitting down here’s, this guy Chad sitting down, opening the Bible, and we’re just having a chat about it. I’m just coaching, mentoring, sitting with you, saying, look, this is how to approach the so that’s why there’s a picture of me sitting on a stool with my Bible open on the front of this book, because I want to have that mentoring. Let’s walk through this together.

Let’s have a conversation about the Scripture. There might be a couple of technical terms, but no, most of them are in the back, in the footnotes, because this is just a normal conversation between people who love God and want to learn how to handle His Bible, the Scripture. Well. When you were saying that, another thing came to my mind. This is something I’m doing in the background.

It doesn’t have to do with the podcast, but in my counseling practice, in order to keep your license, you have to do so many education hours. And I’ve thought about this for some time of doing my own course, and I decided to make one. And so my counseling practice is explicitly Christian. But this course isn’t specifically for Christian counselors. They can be, but it is about Christian clients, and even more specifically, evangelical Christian clients, just to get pretty specific, because that’s what a lot of people run into, whether especially in Oklahoma or part of the country, there’s just quite a few of people in that type of belief.

So it’s like, even if you’re not a Christian counselor, you could benefit from this to kind of understand some of these perspectives better. And in that course, I’m doing a short little thing about the Reformation, kind of what that meant. Who is this Martin Luther guy? Why was this such a big deal? And we kind of talked about how all of these denominations that we have and Protestant churches, there’s a lot of them, and there’s a lot of differing beliefs there.

And part of that reason is ingrained in a lot of these churches is that bottom up approach instead of a top down. And I don’t want to alienate any Catholic listeners here, but this is not controversial. This is true that Catholicism tends to be more top down. You got the church leaders, and there’s just much more of that’s kind of the church leadership, the church history, and that’s the way things are. Whereas Protestant tends to be more bottom up.

That, yeah, you do have pastors and church leaders. It’s not like they don’t exist, but kind of like you’re saying, no, you can do this. Chad’s not some expert Bible reader that has everything. Just listen to everything Chad says and you got it under no. Like, we all have this ability to do that.

And some of that is just in some of the DNA of our churches that we don’t need to have of, oh, that pastor, he’s so gifted, and I just need to listen to everything he says and I don’t have to worry about doing my own Bible study. No effective pastor is not going to communicate in that way. So I really like that mindset and kind of spirit. You’re trying to teach your church members that, no, you can read this and you can understand it. It doesn’t have to be some special person to do it for me 100%.

And one of the things that made the Reformation so effective as it kept going was the printing press and the ability to have the scripture and the common language more readily available for people. And that understanding that every believer is a priest and therefore has a ministry responsibility to minister to God. That’s what priests do. And then to minister to other people and to be able to handle His Word yeah. Was a huge part of that.

Absolutely. And it’s almost like today we now have probably the opposite issue, where so much information is available and so much information is readily available in five second snaps in reels and things like that, that people think they know far more than they know. So we now probably have a generation that thinks they know the Bible or thinks they know biblical truth, but they really don’t. They’re really still very shallow on their understanding. And so hence, one of the reasons in the last, I guess, five, maybe five to ten years, something like that, of the return of long form interviews, long form discussions, young people actually realizing little snippets is not enough.

We want to delve into a subject matter and whether that’s through Joe Rogan and new Jordan Peterson’s in that area or through solid Bible teachers in other spaces, then that’s what people are hungering for and getting into. That’s a really interesting point there. And just with my own kind of caveat here, maybe I’m kind of right smack dab in the middle of millennials, so I’m not at the bottom end, but not at the top end. So maybe it’s because I’m not more close to the generation Z or if I’m just an older soul millennial, I don’t know. But the TikTok real, that whole side of things, it just annoys me.

I don’t know. I don’t really like them. I’ve loved YouTube and longer form podcasts and things like that. That’s part of why I wanted to form a little bit of a longer form podcast of my own. I just enjoy that more.

But yeah, I think you do see that. You see the explosion of these short five second clips, 32nd clips. But you do see that reverse too, of kind of this longer form because I think you’re right, we’re starving for a little bit deeper. And I actually have this concern as a Christian and kind of having more of just biblical roles and biblical ethics and things of that nature to where, yes, I enjoy people going towards that, but I have this concern where some people aren’t. They just want maybe like the last part there of the what does it mean to me?

And they might skip the Bible entirely and just try to bring in, like throw this name out here. I’ve actually not really listened to him, but I think it’s a good example of this culture, like an Andrew Tate or somebody like that, of hears, somebody that’s at least speaking into young men and is saying like, oh, you don’t have to live like this, live this way, and it’s like we’re going the complete other way. We’re falling in this ditch over here and now we’re falling in that ditch. So I think you bring up a really good point that we really need to, as believers, encourage a deep understanding of scripture and not just fall into the latest trend, because the latest trends tend to if they’re not rooted in biblical truth, they tend to not turn out very well. Yeah, absolutely.

In some respects, in some part of our culture, christianity is almost becoming one of those latest trends or saying that you believe in God or believe in the Bible because conservatism is the new punk. It has been for a few years. And so we’re having outspoken people within that part of the conversation overtly claiming saying they believe in God or we need to get back to the understand the Bible, et cetera, et cetera. And so if we then do have a bunch of millennials or younger millennials come in and they want to investigate the scripture or want to look in the scripture, we need to make sure we’re actually solid in that for that new wave of investigation.

I just think more and more in conservative commentary, the Bible is actually being honored and or seems to so as good as a voice like Jordan Peterson might be, do we allow him to be the Bible teacher that people get all their Bible information from? Or do we need to say, actually, let’s see the hunger and thirst that is there for deep understanding of Scripture and make sure we have material, or make sure we as the church are able to point people in evangelical directions of people who are born again, walk with the Spirit and do have that theological grounding? Yeah, Jordan Peterson really seems to be that central figure there that in many ways, especially in my profession, I respect him a lot and I think he’s done some really good work. And there’s times when he’s talking about scripture, he’s so close in a lot of Ways and Other Ways He’s Not. But the fact that he is so popular, especially in conservative circles but just it’s such a different message than basically what most young people hear today.

Like you’re saying. It shows that that passion, that yearning for Scripture is there. It’s just yeah, we need to do a better job that are explicitly Christian in the church of saying, yeah, here it is. And not only that, it’s attainable. Come to this church.

We’re preaching the word and you can hear it too and you can read it too Just having that open and. You can handle the truth. There you go. Exactly. I had a pastor that was talking about this was kind of like an atheist first Christian debate.

And I don’t even remember where this happened, but the atheist was bringing up all this scripture and was using that to attack on the Christian. And the Christian stands back, and it’s like, uhoh I don’t know what to do. And then they run away. And the pastor is like, hey, that’s the best thing that could happen. They already started with scripture.

Just tell them to keep going, keep reading, and basically not taking the onus on. Okay, I got to come up with this perfect debate strategy back. But just like okay, you read that part of scripture. Well, what about this part over here? And just keep that discussion on Scripture itself instead of coming up with this wonderful man made argument.

We don’t need to come up with their arguments. The Scripture is already there. So keep pointing them to Scripture. Don’t be afraid to do that. Yeah, look, I’d love to think that biblical literacy can increase and that people’s hunger for God can come back into a hunger for scripture.

And I’m an exennial. So I’m that boundary that border between the X gen. I’m sort of the younger X gen. So it shows even in my book when I’m talking in the first part of the book about what does it say? I talk about how to read the Bible.

Well, you need to be a good reader. This is how to read the Bible. And when I talk about different translations or how to choose a Bible that’s good for you, the first recommendation I say is get a paper Bible. For goodness sake, let your main reading Bible be paper old school. Get a paper Bible.

And it only occurred to me I have to say that now. I have to say what type of Bible should I get? A paper one. Get a paper one. Because one of the reasons for that is your comprehension is assisted when, on paper, you can see more information in front of you than you can on a screen.

And so your ability to comprehend, to find repeated words, for example, to see the flow of an argument in Book of Romans, for example, or Hebrews would be key for this. The More Information you could see, psychologists say the more that comprehension is being assisted as you read. And so we talked before about little snippets of information. Well, the other ways, like five second bits reels or whatever, the other way that our brains are being designed to process information is just in little bits on a small screen. And I think the more that we get back to paper, the more we open a book and see more content in front of us at any one time, circling right back to where we began, it’s going to help us have a bigger picture view of what we’re seeing and reading.

And so, yeah, I kind of showed my age in that as well. I’m really grateful for technology. I’m very grateful for electronic. As I go on in that chapter when I say how to choose a Bible, I do say you need an electronic Bible. I don’t know where I’d be without my hyperlinks to help me see what connects what with what.

I love using Bible programs and online websites like Bible Hub or Blue Letter Bible or whatever. I love that type of stuff when I’m studying. But when it comes to sitting down and just reading scripture, your everyday reading paper trumps screen. And I’m happy to say that even though it might be showing my age, I think kids these days need to get back to paper. It will help all of us.

I do think that’s a good point. And my pastor is he kind of says an ingest, but also not ingest. Not just with Bible, but even just with normal books. Somebody said we have a group that meets just talking about different theological books once a month. And one guy read an audiobook, listened to an audiobook, I guess, and Pastor’s Jabbing was like, well, did you really read it?

I mean, that’s not the same thing. I’ve got this paper book right here. Like you said, it’s great to have different technology. I love having Bible apps on phones. I tell this with clients that, hey, even just something simple if you’re struggling with getting your day set off straight, like maybe when you reach for your phone first thing in the morning, turn it to your Bible app, that’s great.

So there’s ways to use technology in that helpful way. But I love what you’re saying there. That even just psychologically seeing that and you can almost see the whole story there physically with your eyes when you do have that paper. So let’s not trash those just yet. I think they still have quite a bit of usage for us today too.

Absolutely. And even for me, falling into that or going down that line of, listen, I want to look younger, appeal to a younger crowd or whatever. Therefore I’ll preach from an iPad, I think. No, I preach with a paper Bible. I preach with a paper Bible and it’s a deliberate act on my behalf.

I appreciate that if I had an iPad mini or some type of screen that I might look a little bit cooler. And that the convenience of walking around, particularly when I travel. If I’m doing next weekend, I’m preaching in a church context. I’ll be doing like five or six sessions over a weekend. And if you do that overseas, I understand that it’s so much easier to travel with a little screen, but I deliberately choose to preach from a paperback Bible and that’s part of that messaging, as it were, in my opinion, for everyday reading, pay for Trump screen.

And I think that will help also. Yeah, just a little piece to help up the biblical literacy of the church. Well. And I think what you’re saying, too, is important. That just in general, I think this is something in churches that we need to be fostering that biblical thirst and just being able to teach God’s word and that being predominant.

And whether somebody uses an iPad or not, I mean, I do think that there’s some grace there that some people can do it, some can’t. But if the reason to do it is to look cool, that’s probably not a very good one. I’m not going to lose too much sleep over that one decision. But it’s more so like you’re saying that intentionality. That intentionality of me having this paper book is so you will read this form.

If there’s that intentionality to look cool, where else am I doing? Am I cutting corners in other areas just to look cool? We just have to be careful with that type of mentality. Yeah. I think for years pastors have been told, and rightfully so, leaders, it’s very common in leadership training to be told, listen, sheepy, see, sheepy do.

The people will watch what you do. If you lead a youth group and you’re drinking at the local pub or the local hotel, what do you say there in America? And you’re sitting right outside with a big jug of beer with all your mates with ten empty glasses on, that right where people could walk past and see, you know, your young people walk down that mall. It’s probably an unwise thing to do. Okay, you might be fine, you might be on alcohol free beer that night, but the image of that you are modeling something that can be unhelpful in that regard.

We have this when it comes to how you might relate to people of the opposite sex in church life. We just come to understand, listen, I know that the way I model certain things can be interpreted in a way that can be helpful, unhelpful, and therefore I’m going to conduct myself in this way. Well, in the same way the way pastors handle the Bible is teaching other people. This is how you should do it too. Yeah, absolutely.

I just think that’s something in general, that pastors leaders in the church just taking that extra step of being deliberate. You all are human. We get it. We’re not looking for a perfect pastor out there. We know that doesn’t exist.

But there are just some extra steps. There extra steps of caution and intentionality that I do think is just wise. And I’m glad to hear that you’re taking that, even from the type of Bible that I’m reading, just to show, hey, again, I think this is in my church’s best interest to have this at home, so I better have this up there. Just like I think it’s in my children’s best interest that we read books. I probably shouldn’t be on my phone all day when I’m with them.

I want to model that again, that same type of behavior. Awesome. Well, thanks, Johnny. Yeah, I really appreciate this conversation. I think that there’s probably a lot of the audience that would absolutely love to stay in contact with you, whether to read your book or just hear your Australian accent.

Maybe they want to hear more of that. Where can people find you after this show airs? Well, I hate to say, just Google me, but at the end of the day, that tends to be the easiest thing. My surname’s Mansbridge. It’s not very common.

So Chad at Mansbridge, it’s very easy to find me. is my website, and I think I’m pretty well the only Chad Mansbridge out there on social media platforms, YouTube, podcast, et cetera, my books on Amazon or most of the platforms. Again, He Qualifies You the one that came out in 20, 10, 13 years ago now is a very small book. It’s a little cheapy. It’s a great stocking filler, people say a great gift.

I’ve done a number of podcasts recently with people who say, I buy your books in bulk and I give them away to people. He qualifies you. It’s a simple book. It’s very small. You can literally read it in an hour.

And that’s part of its appeal. It’s a small book with a big message, and there’s plenty of study notes if you want to go deeper. But it’s a small book. He Qualifies You but then my latest book that’s now award winning won, I think, three, maybe four international awards is You Can Handle the Truth. And again, all that’s on Amazon or where people buy or listen to their favorite books, because, yes, it is on audiobook, and so maybe your mate Johnny can if he can handle an Australian accent, I actually read the audiobook myself.

I narrated myself.

I do that. So for both books, actually, he qualifies you and you can handle the truth. And I’m working right now. I’ve actually filmed, since you brought it up before video courses, I did a video filmed a video course for You Can Handle the Truth. I don’t know when this podcast is coming out, but I’m literally in the last throes of having that all available and accessible on my website.

There’s just quite a bit involved in getting the course uploaded to our website, but I’m doing that now and there’s actually different editions of the course. So for a small group or for a ministry school where there’s a bonus lesson on how to preach, taking hermeneutics into homoletics, that type of thing, we’re sort of packaging that now and that’ll be available very soon and really helpful. So the type of, like, many small group courses or even individual courses, it’s basically designed for people to watch a video, go home and read readings that week, come back the next week, discuss, watch another video, et cetera, et cetera. So it’s a seven part video series or eight parts in the ministry school edition. And, yeah, that is really good.

Great quality, high quality. Five, 6 hours of me teaching, speaking down the camera a bit slower than this. Okay, it is morning here. I just had a coffee before we came on for this interview, so on the video series, a little bit slower, but yeah, so I’m really excited about that coming out. We’ve run beta courses of that in our church and other churches, and I know that’s been received really well so far.

So, anyway, keep your eye out for that. You can handle the truth. All right. I’ll try to make a little mental note for future Johnny whenever I’m making the show notes for this, if that is available, I’ll try to include that down there, but I’ll definitely have the books and website and all that stuff included down the show notes. So for those of you that are listening or watching this, feel free to check those out.

And, yeah, I really appreciate you coming on with us today. Chad Bro. Thank you. Appreciate your time. Enjoy your night, and I’ll go enjoy the rest of my day.

Absolutely. All right, and thank you again to everyone else that tuned in. And we’ll catch you on the next episode.

All right?