Professor Horner’s Bible Reading System: Interview with Bonnie Tigner

As more and more people at our church are taking up Prof. Horner’s Bible Reading Plan, I have decided to interview more people who are using the plan. I hope this will encourage those of us who are on the plan, as well as challenge everyone to spend more time reading God’s Word.

While I will continue to interview my church members in the future, I also want to develop new friendships with people around the world through Facebook and hear how God is working in their lives through His Word.

Steve and Bonnie Tigner live in Rockford, Illinois where they are looking forward to retiring to Florida in hopefully 3-4 years. The parents of one grown son, they are very active in their church. Steve serves as an elder and Bonnie teaches 4 and 5 year olds and is part of a quilt-making group. She is also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Pastor Brett (hereafter, PB): How long have you been on Professor Horner’s Bible Reading Plan now?

Bonnie: I started in early February. I am now around day 225. I have not managed to do the reading every day but I haven’t missed many. If I do miss 1 or 2 I don’t obsess about it – I just pick back up where I left off.

PB: Where did you hear about Prof. Horner’s Bible reading plan?

Bonnie: My son sent me an invitation to the Facebook group. He is a graduate of The Masters College and he and Prof. Horner are good friends. He has probably known about the plan for a few years. He told me about Prof. Horner’s reading system when the Facebook Group was created because he knew I would be interested in trying it.

PB: Did you ever use a one-year Bible reading plan? If so, how did that work for you?

one year esvBonnie: Good. I began using the One Year Bible NIV in 1986. At the end of the first year, when I realized I had actually read through the entire Bible it was a very exciting feeling. I switched to the One Year Bible ESV in 2002. I did use a few different reading plans off and on through the years but kept coming back to the One Year Bible format.  Before I started Prof. Horner’s plan I had been doing M’Cheyne’s reading list #4 for a few years.

PB: How would you compare Prof. Horner’s plan to  Bible reading plan to your previous approaches?

Bonnie: This plan takes a little more time each day (but not much). No other reading plan I have tried is as comprehensive and spiritually satisfying to me. The word I use when describing this plan to others is “integration”. To me, with this plan you see the entire scope of redemptive history. In one sitting you have read gospel, law, history, poetry, prophecy and doctrine and application in the epistles.

PB: Did you encounter any struggles in staying with the plan?

Bonnie: I had a little trouble being efficient with it at first. I printed out the bookmarks and tried to use them – but I really like to have a list to check off. So I ended up using the excel spreadsheet that another reader created and posted on the Prof. Horner’s Facebook group.

PB: How has using Prof. Horner’s plan impacted your spiritual life?

Bonnie: I would say it has really benefited me. I find myself considering the passages I have read throughout the day much more than I did before.

PB: Do you use one Bible with this plan? If so, which one? Or, if more, which ones? ESV Classic Reference

I use one Bible – a hardcover ESV Classic Reference Bible from Crossway. I use this Bible for everything – not only my daily reading but everything. It goes to church with me too. I decided on using one Bible because I desire that intimacy with the text that Prof. Horner talks about – even to know exactly where on the page I can find a much loved passage.

PB: How long does it take you to read the daily portion?

Bonnie: Unless I really dawdle it takes between 35 and 45 minutes – as per Prof. Horner’s instructions – its all about getting through the text!

PB: Do you have a regular time each day to do the reading? If so, where and when?

Bonnie: I normally read first thing in the morning. If I’m first up I read in our office. Otherwise, the easy chair in the bedroom. But if I don’t get it done in the morning I try my best to do it before I go to bed.

PB: This plan is fairly intense. Do you consider yourself a fairly disciplined person?

Bonnie: Yes – but I would encourage anyone to try this, it’s very do-able.

PB: When do you do your prayer time?

Bonnie: After my Bible reading.

PB: Has using Prof. Horner’s plan impacted your prayer life? If so, how?

Bonnie: Yes. For some reason I have begun to identify, treasure and repeat in prayer scriptures that I apparently read right over before, like Romans 15:13 or Ps. 25:20-21.

PB: The plan takes you through some books more frequently than others? Proverbs and Acts are read monthly. How has this been?

Bonnie: Great. It hasn’t seemed like a burden at all. I started my 9th time through Acts this week and now I am challenging myself to identify the stories in the daily reading before I turn there. And Proverbs is a sober reminder for how I should behave as a child of the King.

PB: Of the 10 divisions of Scripture, which has been your favorite?

Bonnie: That’s a hard call. If I have to choose I’ll pick LIST 1, the Gospels. I pray I will see Jesus more and more clearly and love Him more.

PB: Professor Horner also recommends that you print out his “Secrets to Success with this System” and put it in your Bible? Have you done that? Are you abiding by his recommendations or have you customized the plan? Explain.

Bonnie: I have not printed it out to put in my Bible but it’s on my computer for easy reference. I have not customized it at all. I love it just the way it is. Even when I first began and saw that we read through Proverbs and Acts every single month I thought, “Well, Prof. Horner has been doing this a lot of years – I’ll go with his wisdom.”

PB: How long do you see yourself staying on this plan?

Bonnie: At this point I think I will continue with this plan for as long as the Lord grants me life.

PB: Have you influenced anyone else to take up the plan?

Bonnie: My Mother-in-law has been using the plan for a few months and likes it. One of the High School girls at church has also been using the plan since around March.

PB: Finally, you mention that you teach Sunday School and help with the youth. Has being on this plan impacted your teaching and ministry. If so, how?

I teach 4 and 5 year olds. Probably the only way in which it has impacted my teaching is to make me much more aware of how the Old Testament points to the New Testament and to Jesus Christ. For example, we recently taught on the sin of Adam and Eve and emphasized that when God used the animal skins to make clothes for Adam and Eve that was the first sacrifice and pointed to Jesus.

PB: Is there anything else you would like to share?

Bonnie: I would like to comment briefly about what I call integration. The thing I love most about the plan is that you read 10 chapters all over the Bible every day. Here is an example of what I have found so exciting. On August 3rd my reading from LIST 2 was Deut. 18 where Moses tells Israel “God will raise up a prophet like me..”. That same day my reading from LIST 10 was Acts 3 where Peter preaches that Jesus Christ is the prophet promised by Moses. How cool is that?

PB: Way Cool!  Thanks Bonnie for participating!

Bonnie: Thanks for asking!

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