Thursday, January 25, 2007


I am continually amazed at how the "pieces of the puzzle" often come together. Take this morning for instance...

When I awoke I checked my email to see if anything work-related developed overnight. A meeting was confirmed, but nothing more, so I took a moment to read my Wordsmith email. I admit that I don't often get the chance to enjoy the "word of the day" and that many times when I do I will skip the word and go straight to the quote at the bottom of the email that has absolutely nothing to do with the word of the day. That's exactly what I did today and here's the quote I found...

Imagine a world in which generations of human beings come to believe that certain films were made by God or that specific software was coded by him. Imagine a future in which millions of our descendants murder each other over rival interpretations of Star Wars or Windows 98. Could anything -- anything -- be more ridiculous? And yet, this would be no more ridiculous than the world we are living in. -Sam Harris, author (1967- )

Now obviously Sam Harris has never had to use Windows 98. I have!... and I can see how it's continual use would lead people to murder! It's not too far fetched (he says as he joyfully types away on his Mac keyboard!).

Seriously though, Mr. Harris' quote is a very interesting glimpse at what a non-believer might think about people of faith. He comments on this ridiculous world we live in... a world where a good number of people believe that a "story" was given to man by God. A simple story in many ways about a God that loves his wayward creation and desires to have communication with them. And a very complicated story about the punishment of sin being death and the shedding of blood being required to satisfy the debt. And a very mystical story about a man dying a physical death and being resurrected on the third day.

And that brings us to the next "piece of the puzzle", for you see, after I read the quote I went and sat in the early morning quiet of my living room (which is only quiet when my herd of kids are sleeping) and I finished my slow reading of a book written by a man named Mark. Of which the last couple of chapters contain the hard to believe, mystical part of the story.

In many ways the gospel story is much more far-fetched than Star Wars. A film like that is so much easier to understand and grasp. The foreshadowing it contains is paid off within 2 hours, whereas the foreshadowing within gospel hasn't been fulfilled in 2 millennia. A piece of fiction is so easy for our world to believe as just that... fiction. But to a culture raised on post-modernism that doesn't believe in Truth, how can a story over two thousand years old be seen as anything but fiction?

How do we cling to that which we believe? In one sense I'm glad modernism is on the way out, because the modern believers felt the need to convince non-believers that the gospel is truth. Whereas believers in the post-modern age are much more willing to leave that job of convincing others up to the Holy Spirit (where it belongs) and instead just live out the elements of gospel.

If we took truth out of the equation and we're left with just a story about a God reaching out to mankind in an effort to be known by them and compared that to a story about some primordial ooze that evolved into walking and talking blobs of goo, I have to tell you, I'd still choose the first story. Simply because its a far more beautiful story!

Factor Truth back in and it becomes all the more compelling. The foreshadowing of the old testament to the new, and the new to the next, and the crazy, hard to understand parables, and the simple sayings like "love your neighbor", and the mystic nature of a bodily resurrection and the hard to believe future of a second-coming... these are pieces of the puzzle and pieces of an amazingly beautiful story that's worth trying to believe in.

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