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I don’t read my Bible

May 9, 2016

Imagine that some kind of cosmic event happens and switches off every possible source of light on the planet. This includes all natural (sun, moon, fire…) and artificial sources of light (light bulbs, electronic devices screens, lamps and torches…). Consider that even our beloved vehicles remain only with the ability to move but fail to produce light, and somehow, even the sophisticated infra-red goggles fail to illuminate the few elites who possess them… This would be chaotic, wouldn’t it?

If you push your imagination a bit further, you’ll realize how horrific this would be. You’ll come to the conclusion that, in utter darkness, nothing and absolutely no one would be able to move. Those who try would be exposed (and expose others) to countless dangers (some of them which would be fatal). Every human on the face of the earth would then be condemned to inactivity and a state of mind that can only lead to loss of purpose and meaning and depression. We’d be doomed.

Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate thoughtful people who, in their struggle for meaning, ask good questions. ‘Why are we here?’ ‘Why is there something to do rather than nothing?’ ‘Why was the universe created?’ ‘How was the universe ever able to produce intelligent beings capable of asking the purpose of the universe and everything in it?’ ‘Am I doing the right thing and is that thing worth doing?’ I’ve especially preferred questions that go along these lines.

Why am I saying this? Well, I believe that if these questions (and many more) are not personally answered, then I’ve painted above a picture of the world in which you live in—a meaningless world.

There’s a reason why God, in his manifold wisdom manifested in the act of creation, decided to create light on the very first day. Light represents the condition without which there can be no dynamic of life. Nothing would be able to flourish without it and everything would be, as the author of Genesis writes, “without form and void” (Gen1:2).

In that state of chaos, God said: “Let there be light” and there was light. Out of God’s spoken word, things started to make sense. Beauty and order wouldn’t be known was God’s spoken command not issued. Paul later reveals that even our inner beings wouldn’t have life if God’s word wasn’t spoken this way to give life to our darkened and blinded minds (2cor3:14-4:6).

His word makes sense out of the world we’re in; it is the basis for life, meaning and guidance. His word as a literature, “answers major world view questions: who made us? Who are we? How did we get here? What has gone wrong? What is the maker doing to set things right? How will things turn out in the end?”(James M. Hamilton)

If the Bible—as the repository of God’s words—brings us a story of this world, and if we’re actors in that drama, then, as Kevin Vanhoozer puts it so eloquently , “The Bible is what provides stage lighting…the means by which we see the stage clearly and make our way across it”. He adds: “This is how Scripture constitutes the spectacles of faith: it provides the corrective lenses and the mediated light by which to read our world and interpret it rightly.” Do you now see? There is no alternative means of enlightenment for our lives; other paths other than his word will only worsen our condition, send us into more frightful and miserable mazes.

It provides the corrective lenses and the mediated light by which to read our world and interpret it rightly

Friend, if you don’t read your Bible—to put it candidly and lovingly—you’re lost. If that’s true of you, there’s even no point of pretending to be a Christian (Jn8:31). You don’t know where you come from or where you’re going. You don’t even know where you are or what you’re supposed to do there.  You don’t realize how little your thoughts are—because they’re only about the little dark corner you’re in—and you don’t realize that your endeavors are worthless—because you only succeed in what doesn’t matter. The people around you are just as lost as you are and they can’t help, for chances are that they’re just trying to make the most out of the experience.

It is foolish and proud to spurn the creator’s—the one to establish the created order—own wisdom and insight to embrace other people’s ideas of how we should live our lives other than humbly receiving the light that comes from God. We’ll only realize that everything will only come into proper focus when we accept the light of the world, Christ Jesus, whose face is the bright shining glory of God that enlightens and gives life to our dead souls.

“In him [i.e. the Word] was life and the life was the light of men”

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