Sunday, November 13, 2005

starting at the beginning

it's funny what you can find when you go digging into your belongings... tonight i found two packs of gum that expired two years ago... :| they were sealed in blister packs, which is probably just as well! last thursday night i went through my (somewhat organised, in my own way :p) mess of room looking for a book, trying to remember where i placed it. it's called "I, Isaac, Take Thee, Rebekah" (subtitled "Moving from Romance to Lasting Love") and is written by Ravi Zacharias.

it was purchased over a year ago but i had never read it. there are many more books in my possession which have been in an unread state for much longer, but for some reason (not quite the same ones as those which prompted me to buy the book in the first place) i felt like it's time to read it. this post doesn't so much relate to the subject proper, rather it's to share an appreciation of a few paragraphs which made an impression. it reminded me that the starting point for anything is God; not starting with God makes a world of difference to how one's life is lived, and the topic of living as though there were no God is also covered by one of the latest boundless articles. anyways, onto the quote... and yet another excerpt :)
In those first few words [of Genesis], "In the beginning God..." lies the paradigm of how everything in this world of time and space began. God, in His power, brought it to be. I think it was Dr. Billy Graham who once said, "I have no problem believing that the whale swallowed Jonah. I would have even believed it if Jonah had swallowed the whale." If you will pardon the pun, that is not flippant gullibility. That is the defining truth that underlies whether the supernatural is part and parcel of our lives or just a pipe dream. A. W. Tozer said, "Give me Genesis 1:1, and the rest of the Bible poses no problems for me." Once you accept the reality of God as not merely an assumption but the undeniable foundation of our very lives, many other deductions for life follow.

The distinguished philosopher Mortimer Adler, who was co-editor of The Great Books of the Western World, was once asked a very obvious question. This compilation of books contains essays on every major subject addressed by Western thinkers over the centuries. The longest article is on God. When an interviewer asked Adler why this was so, he replied, "More consequences for life and action follow from the affirmation or denial of God than from answering any other basic question." Adler was absolutely right. The consequences of sacredness and profanity are worlds apart. If life is from God, then life is essentially sacred. If God is not necessary for life, then life is profane. The word profane means "outside the temple" -- that is, God has no jurisdiction over life or part in it. "In the beginning God..." must be the generating dictum of all our choices and commitments.
food for thought, don't you think?

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