Biblical Truth and Careful Thinking; God Cares About What We Read

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Biblical Truth and Careful Thinking; God Cares About What We Read

I was recently elected as a County Commissioner (a.k.a. County Supervisor) in South Central Oregon, and in the process, had become interested in the ideas that forged our Nation’s Constitutional Republic. Although most of us are familiar with the names of our founders – Jefferson, Adams, Washington, etc., and even know a few important dates – have you ever read any of their original writings?

I hadn’t either, until I decided to investigate, and I was amazed and fascinated by what I found. Biblical truth tied with careful thinking dominates the pages of these older books. The technological limitations of the day (the feather quill, ink-pot and blotter) forced these writers to craft their arguments far in advance of taking their seat at the writing stand. This seeming hardship actually created a bounty of well-reasoned writing.

Today, we perhaps rely too much on our technologies. Our reliance has led to complacency and laziness because we have allowed technology to invade our humanness and our thought-life is suffering. Sometimes I fear that we don’t think through our beliefs carefully enough, or work out our worldviews with solid logic and reasoning, and we are thus unprepared for the attacks of modernism and post-modernism on our faith and life.

Therefore, my goal is to mine these older books to help bring Biblical reality and careful thinking back into our hectic lives. God’s truth is all around us and it is evident in literature from every age. For example, here is a piece of advice from Benjamin Franklin, written in 1733:

“Reading makes a full man – meditation a profound man – discourse a clear man.” [1]

Consider for a moment, how closely Franklin’s advice follows Biblical principles – read, meditate, discuss, share and live out. For example:

“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”    (Joshua 1:8)

Or,

“You must love the Lord your God with your whole mind, your whole being, and all your strength. These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind, and you must teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up.”    (Deuteronomy 6:5-7)

Certainly, our Lord cares about what we read. Otherwise, why read the Bible and not Hustler magazine? This website is called “Trochia” ( trociav) and most of you are familiar with its definition. It is the New Testament Greek word for a path, like the track of a wheel, or figuratively, a course of conduct. Our conduct will be influenced by our thought-life and our thought-life by what we ingest in various forms of media, such as good books (or, not-so-good magazines).

The Old Testament Hebrew equivalent to “trochia” is “derek” ( Krd ) meaning way, behavior,  journey, conduct, deeds, direction, routes, lifestyle and destiny. It is used in Deut. 6:7: “as you walk along the road.” This is the essence of our journey. Our calling is to think and live beyond the mundane. It is a moral, decision-making journey and there are God-given principles we should be following.

God has called each of us into unique positions, both as individuals and as members of the church. “Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him.” (I Cor 7:17)

Whether you are a programmer, plumber or paralegal, each of us is in a unique situation with uncommon relationships and exclusive conversations. This is Martin Luther’s powerful concept of vocation, but it is not the mundane world of work. Instead, it is a calling to relationships.

Consider your relationships – family, friends, co-workers, service providers, kids in the neighborhood.  No other person will encounter the myriad of unique individuals that you will. This is your “calling.” It is God requesting your life’s commitment.

This “calling” brings me back to my fascination with old books, and with improving our thought-life through meditation, reading and discourse. Only through careful thought can we truly impact those relationships, for as 1 Peter 3:15 says: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”

Let’s take the time to read and think carefully about what we’ve read. Ask questions of yourself and wonder. Wonder out loud – discuss your ideas with others.

Over the next several weeks, I will continue thinking about authors, books, and how beautifully matched we are to the calling that God has given us. I’m suggesting God’s glory is all around us and that we will discover it more readily if we listen to old Ben Franklin, who, in turn, was listening to God’s counsel, “Reading makes a full man – meditation a profound man – discourse a clear man.”

 


[1] Benjamin Franklin, Apostle of Thrift and Frugality, copyright 1933. It is a reprint of Poor Richard – An Almanack – For the Year of Christ 1733.

 

About The Author
Dennis Linthicum
Dennis Linthicum
Dennis Linthicum currently serves as a County Commissioner in southern Oregon, and has been an IT vice president and an independent software developer for most of his career. He has a BA in Economics from UCLA and a MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola University, and a passion for Christian influence in economics and civics. He lives with his wife, Diane, on the ranch where they raised their two kids along with some cattle, a few horses, lots of chickens, countless stray barn cats and a couple of faithful dogs. When they moved to their Oregon ranch 17 years ago, they were just beyond the service area for the electric power grid. Not to be deterred, Dennis and Diane (and their kids) built a house and several outbuildings which have been operating by solar-power for nearly 17 years. Now they use their home as a sanctuary for friends and visitors, who come to the ranch for lessons in solar energy and construction from Dennis or delicious home cooking from Diane.
20 Comments
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  • Virginia Keller
    August 13, 2012 at 9:22 am

    And He cares about what we write !!

  • Vicky Davis
    August 13, 2012 at 9:46 am

    The only bible is the KJV, nothing else

  • Betty Yerkes
    August 13, 2012 at 11:20 am

    “Amen!”

  • Eva Wilson
    August 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    amen

  • Shellie Lightsey
    August 13, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    AMENNNNNNN!!!

  • Sandra E. Locklear Lewis
    August 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    And what we watch1

  • Shirley Dick
    August 14, 2012 at 6:57 am

    And definitely what we DO.

  • Jerry Parrish
    August 14, 2012 at 9:30 am

    THE BIBLE IS THE TRUTH! BIBLE: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth!

  • Octavio G. Fernandez
    August 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Yes..He does…and no….you do not need instructions….

  • Octavio G. Fernandez
    August 14, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    My faith is firm……

  • Joanne Clark
    August 14, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    UH oh!!I just finished reading 50 Shades Of Grey!I am so screwed!!!

  • Octavio G. Fernandez
    August 14, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    No need for that…..I was born with faith…

  • Linda Washington
    August 15, 2012 at 5:26 am

    there is nothing like king james bile.all you have to do is read it,and study if for yourself.faith comes by hearing. lynn washington.

  • Jose Luis Chaw Mairena
    August 15, 2012 at 6:49 am

    Even granting that we are secure from danger we should keep on guard… our enemy is always awake

  • Gloria E. Neal
    August 15, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Amen to this we need to be with God.

  • Holger Meyer
    August 15, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Octavio G. Fernandez…so if you were born with faith, how come you were born without the ability to talk, walk, not soil yourself, etc ? You had to learn all those things. Try to use that brain of yours for more than parroting stuff you hear other people say.

  • Holger Meyer
    August 15, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Another comment by Ben Franklin who is quoted in this link. “Lighthouses are more helpful than churches”. — Benjamin Franklin. And if you want to do some more reading on good ole Ben Franklin, here goes…I’m sure God won’t mind. http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/john_remsburg/six_historic_americans/chapter_4.html

  • Zachary Baldwin
    August 16, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    granted I know what is implied here – but faith is a very GENERAL term… i think it could be better rendered RELATIONSHIP!

  • Barbara Wilson
    August 17, 2012 at 5:15 am

    When i get low, i go to Jesus i as him, father please with ur strips i am heal, but i keep going back n thats is wrong, LORD I AS U THIS MORNING I AM HEAL OF DEPRESSION I BELIEVE IN U WITH ALL MY HEART N SOUL..AMEN!!!!

  • Linda Dixon
    July 13, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Some books I have read that are true, and sweetly gripping are … “Encounters of the God Kind” … by Jessie Deplantes … and “90 minuutes in Heaven” … and “Heaven is for Real” … and the story of AKIANE’s life … about a little girl born into an athiest family … whose momma found her in the middle of the night, one night drawing pictures on the wall. Her momma said… “Akiane … what are you doing?!” . . . she said … “I met God tonight, momma.” – – – AWEsome True story … I believe it is GOD (yet again) reaching out to a lost and dying world. I pray all I know and Love will make the right choices … I believe time is fast appproaching … “The End of the Age” – May God help, and guide us all – Amen

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