The World is Flat! Someone tell Christopher Columbus…

So I found quite the shocker today awaiting me at work. I routinely pop into my youth pastors office to discuss things and come up with ideas. But today’s routine was shaken up a little. While sitting down at his desk my curiosity and inability to sit still for to long brought me too a packet of stapled paper leaning half way over edge of the desk. I had to look of course, it would just be wrong for me to not pick it up and take a glance. Much to my surprise I found a photocopy of Time Magazine’s cover and the cover story. It was entitled, “Why We Should Teach the Bible in Public School”. Yes you read it correctly. “Why we should” teach the Bible, not why we shouldn’t.

Over all the article turned out to be quite compelling. It posed a good argument on the grounds that the Bible is the “bedrock of Western culture” and that its “constitutional, as long as we teach but don’t preach it.” Step by step the author, David van Biema, identifies logical reasons why our nations children should learn to become Biblically literate. Using some very saddening statistics, like the fact that only half of U.S. adults know the title of even one Gospel, Biema projects the problems of our Biblical illiteracy. He argues that so many classic pieces of literature, including Shakespeare and Hemmingway, reference Scripture. The knowledge of what these Biblical illusions are actually referring to would easily increase our understanding of what the authors are trying to convey. Not only does he cite literature as lying heavily upon Scripture, but also the “ideas and rhetoric that have helped drive U.S. history” and political rhetoric. Simple put Biema argues that the Bible is essential to a better understanding of our culture and life.

With the overall excitement fading from actually seeing this article, I went back through the article to find some key points. And on my way through the pages I found a single quote that so eloquently said it all for me. “Without the Bible and a few imposing secular sources, we face a numbing horizontality in our culture – blogs, political announcements, ads. The world is flat, sure. But Scripture is among our few means to make it deep.” This quote still takes my mind to so many different thoughts but for now I want to focus on the very fact that a secular writer sees the depth the Bible adds to our world and how key it is. For all I know the man could be a Christian, but whether or not the point still stands. The Bible holds within it truth about a God, who he is, what he has done, what he says about life. By giving us purpose and reason for doing anything at all the Bible makes a life that seems flat and dull, sharp and brilliant in color. By the truth it holds we can experience thoughts far beyond what this thin world can even bear without caving in. Thoughts of an infinitely beautiful God and how what he has done for us are available to our hungry society. But throw this added depth away and our world is left to wither away with no hope. You will see that there is a reason that the grass withers and the flower fades and a reason that the word of God stands forever. No flat and one-dimensional world will ever be able to produce such depth as the Bible can and does, because it will end and go nowhere, but the words of God will exist forever. This true depth we need is forever, not finite like the things of our society.

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2 Comments

  1. I like your article. Very poignant and very true. I think that you chose a very large topic to tackle, the kind of thing you could chew and mull over for days. The Biblical illiteracy of our generation is horrible, and should not be underestimated or belittled. So props for addressing it.

  2. Very subversive. Bwahahaha.


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