|Click here for a perfect example of what this says|
Two sides of invincibly ignorant people trying to convince the other about something that is so deeply entrenched in people that it is incorrigible by any other other force than by the Light, the Way and the Truth -- yeah, Him!
Oh, Him. Well, in 90 pages, not a single word about Him nor from Him. No siree, not in apologetics. It's all about the text and MY way of reading the text against yours. And I know that the text is God's word infused and Spirit blown into the soul of the writer, so my reading can't possibly be wrong. Real sweet...Both sides coming from opposite poles with the same weapon. One using it as a hammer and the other as a saber. Neither one of them acknowledging the Christ Himself is the Word. Brothers and sisters, this is we humans' greatest insult to the Word of God conducted in His Name, if you can believe that? The text put before the living Word's life example.
Apologetics the way it is understood in our world is nothing but the centuries-old head-butting between the Pharisees and the Sadducees continued. The only time the Gospels are mentioned is when a) it is pointed out by whomever thinks of it first, that Jesus defeated Satan by the Scripture quotes He wielded in the desert and b) snippets of rebuke to the people of the day about, say, when Jesus says that Satan can deceive even the believers.
In nearly 90 pages, not one single word of Jesus' command that we "pick up our cross daily and follow Me." [Mt. 16;24]
Not once did we hear the command, "...you lack one thing, go, sell all that you have, give the proceeds to the poor and then, come and follow me." [Mk. 10;21 + Mt and Lk]
Not once did we hear the admonition to "...visit the sick, clothe the naked..." - not once! [Mt. 25]
I could go on for at least another 1,000 words, but you get the point. At no time was God, neither the Father nor His Son, His living Word, the real subject of this discussion. It was all about who is right and who is in error. It is my opinion that in this kind of exchange, neither side is doing the Will of God. Discussions of this nature do not make God float to the top and come into the line of vision of those discussing and certainly not of those reading/hearing.
You all know, of course, that I am Catholic. I was born long before many of you saw the light of day. I admit to being an exception to the Catholic "rule" about the Bible. We always had a Bible in our house. Not in a place of honor. We were not THAT much of an exception. But we had it because my father was a faithful prayor [maybe that's not word, but you know what I mean] of the Psalms. We read the stories of creation, Noah, Abraham, Samson, of course, Tobit and the great fish, The Birth of Jesus and His passion, etc. The praying of the Psalms is a daily exercise for me. The praying of the song of Moses is a now and again treat. The Song of Zachariah, of Mary, of Hannah are all moments of deep spiritual meaning for me. I regularly pray the vocation stories of Moses, Abraham, and the great prophets. Finally, every single day I read one of the commands of God the Father to Adam, Cain, Noah, Abraham and others to collaborate with Him in the work of caring for His creation. Every day I read the parallel orders of His Son to follow him, to feed the hungry, to help the widows, to pray daily, to eat His Body and Drink His Blood and finally to serve all nations by spreading His Good News. Finally, at least once a month I reread the powerful prayer of Deacon Stephen [Acts, chapter 7] as he prepared to be stoned to death by the Chosen People themselves. His prayer was the Biblical story of the escape from Egypt and the Covenant between God and the very people who were preparing to kill him.
Brothers and Sisters, no matter what else you may hear about the Bible, remember this, it is the sacramental presence of the Word of God, telling us who He is and how to maintain a righteous spiritual and physical relationship to Him. It is not exclusively to teach us who He is through the reading of it and the arguing about what it says to us. We come to really know who He is through praying it, not just reading it in order to sharpen our saber. Finally, we come to know Him even more deeply by duplicating His life style in our own, by energetically collaborating with the Triune God in an effort to make this world a holier place in which to live.
Now that you know all of this about me, since you won't be crying at my funeral, you'll be saving yourself the trouble of having to wash another handkerchief.