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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Malpass

The Good Book

Here at this blog, THE MAIN THING, we're doing our best to stay open-minded to different ideas about reality. I think to some people open-mindedness means rejecting outright anything traditional in favor of the new, the modern, the "trending now." But for me, true open-mindedness means investigating all the ideas, even those that have fallen out of favor with the "popular kids."

Maybe think of the Bible as the textbook for Christianity class.

For example, some people don't have a very high opinion of the Bible. Perhaps they feel the ideas about reality expressed in the Bible are too old-fashioned, or not very scientific, or culturally insensitive. Maybe they've decided the Bible is just a collection of ancient Jewish folklore—made up stories assembled into some sort of epic poem like Homer's Iliad. Or possibly the Bible simply doesn't interest them right now, at this stage of their lives—perhaps they'll give it a better "look see" a little later—you know, when things slow down some at school or work.

I think maybe I understand somewhat. Personally, I feel the Bible IS a little intimidating. For one thing, let's be honest—that's a lot of pages in that Bible, friend! And there are a bunch of different characters and foreign-sounding place names in there. And I don't always understand the significance of all the stories. The miracles throw me off too, sometimes. Just saying.

You know, if I think of my life as high school or college, then the Bible would be like my textbook for Christianity class. The Bible would contain all this information that would be really good to study, to help me prepare for the big Christianity exam. But continuing the analogy, the Christianity class instructor (the Holy Spirit?) passes out a syllabus on the first day of class that says all exams and other coursework will be corrected to 100. Now I know I don't have to do any work to get a good grade in this class! So am I really motivated to study the textbook? Probably not.

But then I notice the syllabus says the Christianity class textbook contains answers to my coursework in other classes! So now I'm re-motivated to study the textbook—the Bible, that is. And this outcome of studying the Bible for answers about other coursework is only possible because I kept an open mind to new ideas about reality. And because I read the syllabus! So think about that, popular kids!

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