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Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Reasonable Faith? - What Makes The Bible Different?

             I grew up around horses.  For a few years as a kid I did 4H and competed in horse shows.  The path was set for me by my two older sisters who were really into horses.  Rodeo queens, champion horse showwomen and all that.  Frankly, I think the reason I did it was the guy-girl ratio of those at horse shoes was weighted very heavily on the girl side!
Yep - that's me on the right.  Stupid horses!
            I pretty much gave up on horses after I discovered motorcycles (they go faster, have softer seats and are easier to clean up after).  But my sister Suzie stayed with the horses, training them and continues to be a champion dressage rider.  In all of this childhood experience of horse riding, there was a constant and that was the horse shoer (the fancy name is farrier).  And one of the most impressive things about the farrier was his massive anvil.  Like people’s feet, each horse’s hoof has a unique shape.  So, the job of the farrier was to shape the steel horseshoe to the shape of the hoof.  If you have ever had the chance to watch one at work, they are a bit of an artist with a keen eye for detail.  They have to get it right because if they don’t it will affect the horse and believe me, you really don’t want to tick off a horse owner.  It just isn’t pretty.
            If you were to get an up close look at the anvil, you would see it may have some nicks in it but, with all the beating it takes, the shape is unchanged.  The horseshoe is changed when it comes into contact with the anvil.  Over time, the hammer that beats on the horseshoe and the anvil is changed as well.  Everything wears out – except the anvil.  The anvil shapes everything it comes into contact with yet does not change its shape.

            The Bible has always had its critics.  And yet it continues to endure, shaping the cultures and lives that come in contact with it.  In it we come to discover the unchanging character of God.  Orthodox Christianity holds it in high regard, seeing it in the same way the psalmist did:  The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” (Psalm 119:160, ESV)
            A follower of Jesus doesn’t worship the Bible – she worships the God the Bible reveals to us.  And yet, there is confidence that what is contained in the pages is the very truth of God, his “special revelation” to us.  There is the belief that through the 1600 years it was written, by the over forty authors and three languages, God was in the details guiding the process and preserving his truth.
            Have you read the Bible lately?  On March 5th Cold Springs Church is going to be engaging in a community Bible reading through the New Testament.  It follows the season of Lent, which is the 40 days of preparation leading up to Easter.  Why don’t you join us?  You will be able to find the readings on our Facebook page and on our website ( 
            Beat on it all you want.  As you do, you will discover its profound ability to shape you while it remains unchanging.

Peace and grace,


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