Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, April 28, 2010
The book to read is not the one which thinks
for you, but the one which makes you think.
No book in the world equals the Bible for that.
Harper Lee, author [“To Kill a Mockingbird”]
born on this date, 1926, in Monroeville, Alabama
Well: if we needed a statement that made plain the problem with the Bible and with the Christian religion in this country and in the World, Harper Lee’s is IT!
To be perfectly blunt: the Bible is supposed to be the “book that makes you think”. That’s what it was in the early centuries. It has become, with many “loud” Christians, the book “which thinks for you”. And that in a culture, especially in America, that is becoming less and less imaginative and more and more intellectually limited – and boring …. and therefore dangerous. It is just this kind of “thinks for you” stuff that breeds right-wing, mob-like behaviour.
I am beginning to think that we should return to the tradition of the Early Church when it comes to the Bible. No one should be allowed to read it until they are old enough and able to work with a mentor. I’m beginning to think that Archbishop Cranmer made a big mistake in ordering that every parish church must have a Bible available to all, chained to a lectern in the church (thank God most people couldn’t read!). And that it was a mistake to have the liturgy “in a language spoken by the people”.
Our present system of public education doesn’t help either. It just develops for the most part non-thinking blobs suited only for “making a living”. The bright ones go to “private schools” and actually learn to think for themselves.
Don’t read the Bible to know what to think. Read the Bible to learn to think. It’s only a springboard, a first step, to being launched into a glorious journey that will never end. A journey of the Imagination which, if entered into openly, will lead you to your true Self and to the “true” God. But only if you understand that the Bible doesn’t think for you, but springs you free to Become.