Biblical criticism is not an optional occupation to you and to me. As students of sacred theology we engage in our search because we must do it in obedience to the Author of all facts and events who has made certain words, facts and events vehicles of his revelation. The problems that arouse our questions are not manmade. They are posed by God himself. Contradictions in the texts, obscurities, moral offenses are the divine spur to call forth our active, conscientious interest in the means chosen by God to reveal himself to us. These means must be treated like any other subjects of serious study. The end to which they are means, God’s self-authenticating communication to us is not an object of detached, theoretical investigation. In order to hear God speak to us through the ancient documents, we must give ourselves to him with the total surrender of faith. The personal decision of faith and the critical analysis of ancient records are two quite different things. But they are neither incompatible nor are they unrelated.
Frederick Neumann, “The Purpose of Old Testament Studies,” Where Do We Stand? Volume 1 (Brooklyn New York: Theo. Gaus, Ltd., 1978), pp. xiv–xv
This is the right way to read your Bible. It is God’s word but it is also written by men, so it requires some finesse to handle it properly. If you use the Bible as a bullwhip, you are using it wrong.