Acts 17:18-21 A group of philosophers took Paul to a meeting of the Areopagus where Athenians and foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas. They said to Paul, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they mean.”
I love to read. Most any subject can catch my eye. A good mystery novel, history and even a scientific journal about birds can catch my interest. When the reading turns to Christian subjects, I read broadly across the spectrum of authors. I find some authors difficult to read when what they are saying does not line up with Scripture or with what I have been taught. My usual tendency is to drop such books and move to something more in line with my thinking. I have been challenged to take a different approach lately.
Denis Haack writes in Critique Magazine: “I do want to read so that my thinking is not merely reinforced but challenged. I want to be challenged by the best that can be arrayed against what I assume to be true. It is not always easy and never very comfortable, but then truth is like that: gritty, real, messy, sharp. If what I believe to be true is convincing only because I live in the shadows away from the best arguments against it, I can hardly claim it to be the light. It may be, but it will always seem dim and untrustworthy, and my claims will always seem to be bravado instead of reality. Having been made “children of light” (Ephesians 5:8) by God’s grace means we have nothing to fear from the darkness.”
If we are to counter the misleading philosophies and untruths in the world concerning religion and absolute truth, we need to know what we are facing. As your faith grows stronger allow yourself the time to learn to understand the beliefs of those lost in the darkness of our contemporary world.
Jericho Road Ministries Chapel, 2011.