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Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

Nov. 29, 2010 - Missing the Point

By Bob Caldwell

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, NIV).

My first experience with Don Quixote was when we read the stage musical Man of La Mancha in high school. The plot of the musical borrows a few incidents from the lengthy work by Miguel de Cervantes and weaves them into a plot that spans just a few weeks. It is a story about the triumph of dreams. Its signature song, “The Impossible Dream,” encourages all “to follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far.”

A few years later, I made the “mistake” of reading the book Don Quixote. While Man of La Mancha romanticizes the daft but harmless Alonso Quixano in his imaginations as Don Quixote, Cervantes’ work paints him as a dangerous, senile fool. At the end, his sanity returns, he renounces all pretence of knighthood, and he dies a broken man.

We have all seen a movie or play that takes such great liberties with the original book that we are disappointed. (I can never again enjoy The Wizard of Oz movie after reading the much superior book). But Man of La Mancha completely misappropriates the title story of Don Quixote so as to give it a meaning that is 180 degrees removed from the original. Cervantes would not have been pleased.

This has much to do with the way we handle the Bible. It is amazing how many can read the Word and completely misunderstand its purpose. And not just the extreme examples of people who pick and choose verses to defend homosexuality or some other sinful practice. I also mean the sincere believer who picks a particular verse out of context so that the meaning appears different than the intended message of the surrounding verses.

The Scriptures are powerful. By them we are encouraged, admonished and changed. But we must first devote ourselves to determining their proper meaning. This means more than just casual reading; it also means careful study.

The rewards of prayerfully investing our time in Bible study are limitless.

“The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:9-11).

— Bob Caldwell is an adjunct professor with Central Bible College-St. Louis campus.

 

 

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