Herald JournalColumns
April 10, 2006, Enterprise Dispatch
Pastor's Column

Let’s think, people

By Rev. Dan Swanson, First Baptist Church, Cokato

In his book, “Recapture the Wonder,” author Ravi Zacharias writes, “The plunder is deep when the soul is captured by a belief that is rooted in falsehood.”

I have noticed, as you have, that the line between truth and falsehood has blurred to the point that it becomes almost imperceptible, at times.

When I was growing up, people realized that works of fiction, called novels, were not even pretending to represent truths. Today, one of the biggest markets, even in Christian categories, are novels. Worth noticing, however, is that even people of the truth are basing their lives on characters and teachings from books that are clearly fiction.

Webster defines fiction as something invented by the imagination of a writer. Books that are labeled as novels are being used to teach truths when they usually make no effort to claim to speak anything more than the imagination of the author.

Perhaps the most brazen attempt to use fiction to redefine truth is the runaway best seller, “The DaVinci Code,” written by Dan Brown. This book claims to reveal truths and cover-ups that the Roman Catholic Church has perpetrated upon western civilization.

Worst of all, on its opening page, it reveals “supposed” truths (facts) for which it never gives substantiation at all. As I understand, this book is soon to be released in movie form.

Sadly, the supposed facts have been totally shown to be bogus. They are unsubstantiated, totally. But because of the author’s claim on the opening page, the stage is set for this tomfoolery to be swallowed as truth.

It’s almost as if we want to believe a conspiracy exists. I think it is almost genetically determined that we want to tear down and throw dirt at organizations and people who are up front in leadership and/or notable positions.

I’ve read the book – it’s a great, fictional murder mystery – but, after reading four books written by Christian scholars, I am absolutely convinced its description as novel is true. It is the imaginative product of a man who minimally wants to sell books and, not surprisingly, has an axe to grind, apparently, against the church.

The label “novel” needs to be taken seriously. It is a total invention of a vivid imagination.

In a day when we are often being told of conspiracy, let’s demand proofs – and let’s not take as facts things that are clearly written as fiction.

And, in this season, join me in celebrating the life of the One who audaciously said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), and then substantiated that claim by rising from the dead. Some call the resurrection fiction; but too many evidences convinced those who knew that He had died, that He was alive again on the third day.

Let’s talk about this truth that can, and has transformed millions of lives.

Call me - let’s talk about Jesus.


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