Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Acts: Agrippa (26:1-32)

There is a German actor, named Ben Becker, touring the country with a live show: “The Bible: the Spoken Symphony.” He reads the Bible for three hours accompanied by an orchestra and a gospel style choir. It is a spectacle. It seems to be successful. It is perhaps a reason for Christians to celebrate, but not for the reasons you would think.

People are hearing the Word of God, in a respectable, sincere and engaging way. However, the people presenting the show do not see the material as anything more than great literature and the audiences are probably mostly in agreement. In the promotional material, one of the composers speaks of the show as being great because people are encountering the Bible, “not in a religious sense, but in the sense that they have never really listened to the words.”

This is wonderful in a way, and the content of those words will perhaps impact people’s lives in spite of the lack of belief of the presenters. It really serves to remind us of an important fact of life:

Familiarity, appreciation, respect, and interest in the things of God do not automatically result in belief that changes lives. Agrippa was a man who was well versed in Judaism and probably somewhat in “The Way” as well, but when Paul thought that might make it easier for him to believe, he found out he was wrong.

“In such a short time you think to persuade me, Paul?”

Never assume that someone will be open to the Gospel because of their education, community, taste, or any other similarity to your own culture. By the same token, never assume someone will not listen to what you have been entrusted with. We cannot see into the heart.

2 comments:

  1. And...God's word will not return void to Him, but will accomplish everything He sent it out to do!

    ReplyDelete
  2. interesting concept. it may work. i did not read the bible much from the time i was 9 until i was a sophomore in college ... then i took a "bible as literature" class and read it cover to cover ... i mean *really* read it! it was fascinating to read it from that perspective, not as a 'book of wisdom to enlighten the tender mind' nor as a 'textbook of how to live life according to the one true god', nor as the 'inerrant word of god'. just to read it, and appreciate the stories, and starting to ask questions - and to seek answers (and no, not to seek answers from other, wiser, older and "better" minds - but to seek the answers from the source). to make a long story short, that start - just reading the words as words - has eventually led me to the point where i am now - an IMB missionary on the field ... go figure ...

    ReplyDelete

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