A Fear of Whales

Today as I was unpacking my books to shelve them in my new home I came across an oddity. It was a 1,000 page full A+ Certification Guide for the “New and Updated” 1998 exam.

A+, in case you don’t know is an exam for computer technicians so obviously in 2010 the book is a useless relic. There simply isn’t much in that field that’s stayed the same since the days when about a third of American households had internet access, and those that did, did it through AOL with Windows 95 on their Pentium IBMs (if they were rich).

You may be wondering how or why I hung onto a large and useless book for so long. But the smartest of you will wonder at the even more perplexing question “What on earth was a 12 year old doing with a book like that?!?!?

The truth of the matter is, I am a nerd.

And I have been for some time.

At some point in my life previously I was convinced that when I grew up I wanted to be a computer technician. and as a result I filled my bedroom with computers to practice on, met with an older experienced technician, and read pages and pages of material about how to fix computers. For really no good reason other than I was passionate about it, it interested me.

You see the connection of course. This isn’t the only book I read. It’s the most comically outdated, but I have others. All of them over 500 pages. And I believe everyone, or at lease every big reader, has some subject of books that they have read upwards of 10,000 pages about single spaced, no pictures. It could be Marketing or Psychology, or Harry Potter, whatever.

How many of us have read the bible all the way through?

I think very few. and those that do, generally do it bit by bit every morning supplemented with large doses of feely devotional material, as if it were some kind of rancid meat that needed to be forced down with plenty of water.

But I’m not going where you think I am with this…

The obvious place to go is to say “So read your bibles! because God is more important than computers” but that’s not the realization I came to tonight.

The realization I came to is that we don’t need to be told that.

Not only do we not need to be told that because it’s a common message and we in the church don’t suffer for lack of a pastor telling us to read the bible more, but on top of that it’s simply not something we need to be told.

I didn’t need anyone to tell me “Listen Ryan, if you want to say you’re into computers and you don’t want to be a hypocrite you really need to read this book” all I needed was to know “This book will help you know about computers” and I read the thing. because after all, I wanted to know about computers.

Imagine with me for a second that Batman was real, and he wrote a book. Wouldn’t you read Batman’s book? I would!
Now imagine God is real. If he wrote a book… Wouldn’t you read it?

I believe you would. Without insistence, without urging, without accountability or discipleship I believe that if you knew of a book written by God you would read the thing cover to cover.

But many of us haven’t…

So then… If that’s true, then if you haven’t read the bible, it means you don’t really believe what you think you do.

Either you don’t really want to know about God, You don’t really think the bible is the source for that, or you don’t really believe in God at all…

Because if you did you’d read it, and you wouldn’t need me to tell you to.

If we as the church, believed in God, we would be desperate to read and understand more of any source of knowledge from him but for some reason we see ministers begging and pleading to get more of the bible into us.

“Us” being the same people who will power through the first Twilight book unprompted just “to see what all the fuss was about”

… this of course raises all sorts of questions about what it is we call “evangelism” and “conversion” but that’s fodder for another post.

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