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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Believe it or not!

I grew up (mostly) in the USA. I remember mom always received the daily newspaper. Of course, I was only interested in the comics (and later the sports). One strip that always seemed to be in our paper was Ripley's Believe it or Not!

I'm not sure I'd put those bullet-resistant bottles to the test!

Later in life - in several iterations - Ripley's even became a TV show. 

Like bacon, Jack Palance makes everything better...

Robert Ripley's creation debuted in 1918 in the New York Globe and featured unusual sports facts. Later, Ripley expanded into all sorts of, well, unbelievable information.

But today's blog isn't a treatise on Ripley's Believe it or Not - except from the standpoint that Ripley challenged us to believe things that were, at the time, unbelievable.

I have recently begun an association with a publishing house that supplies access to free (temporary, and mostly electronic) copies of books. I can browse through their library of shiny, new novels and pick one to read. What's the catch? The catch is, I have to write a book review.

Spoiler alert! All my book reviews will also be blog entries!!

My debut novel - the one I'm reading first - is entitled The Scroll.

Click the link above to view/purchase your copy from Amazon!

This isn't the review blog so you'll just have to come back for that, but to give you a taste, here's the teaser line from Amazon:
One last dig. One final descent into the twisted tunnels of ancient Jerusalem. Will the truth be found among the treasures that lie beneath the holy city?

Suffice it to say, I'm having some fun reading this.

One of the story lines in the novel has the protagonist questioning his belief in the truth of the Bible; and he abandons his faith in God. As this is worked out on the pages, I began thinking about the greater context of that thought. That's how (and when) I started thinking about the concept and phraseology that Ripley employed to entice readers and later, viewers, to enjoy his tantalizing tales of the unknown, unusual and unbelievable.

These days, some folks put on and take off spirituality like a seasonal wardrobe. They try on one belief system and wear it for a time, then, when things don't go well or they don't get a good feeling from their faith, that belief system is dropped until another one catches their eye...and so on.

Alternately, you have folks who will not believe in anything unless they see hard evidence of its unquestionable existence. I bet Mr. Ripley could relate. Therein lies the crux - and quandary - of Christianity.

If I can ask you to take a single step of faith - to consider, even for a moment, that the books of the Bible are accurate. What would that mean? It would mean, for example, that the story of the Exodus is true. Sure, we may never know the exact details or perhaps even the exact route the Israelites took out of Egypt, although there has been some extremely interesting activity in this particular area for some time now. But that's all for another blog as well!

If we believe, or at least assume for the moment, that the events portrayed in the Bible are true, then that changes the entire paradigm of belief and yes, even faith.

Because with that one small step of faith, we can no longer deny God's existence because - for one thing - He tangibly appeared to the Hebrews as they fled Egypt:

The LORD went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. [Exodus 13:21]

The Israelites had real, live - right before my eyes - proof of God's existence. The pillars of fire and cloud, the parting of the sea, the crossing on dry land, manna, quail, water from the rock, and on and on and on throughout scripture. In the New Testament, there are several places where the Apostles strive to remind us; John and Paul both reiterate that they are not just making this up, that they have seen and touched Jesus with their own eyes and their own hands.

Modern folks tend to get all caught up in the details - dogma, apologetics, scientific evidence, etc. without considering the fact that we have a relatively simple choice: Believe it, or not!

Have you asked yourself what you believe, lately?


1 comment:

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