Summary: Dated 1985. Jesus saw that we live in a complicated age and are therefore called to love God with our minds as well as heart and soul and strength. Consider serious Biblical and theological study.
In order for you to understand fully what I am about to say, you would need to know my wife, and moreover, you would need to visit our backyard and find out that my wife is a wild flower nut. Now you will be very careful to get exactly what I said. I did not say, exactly, that my wife has lost her marbles; but then again I guess I did hint that when it comes to wildflowers, she is nuts, crazy, bananas. She will bear any burden, pay any price, to find and of course transplant the perfect Appalachian wildflower. If it grows in the mountains, it seems to me, it ought to be left there, where God put it; but she wants it here too, in the unfriendly garbage fill - I mean soil - of Silver Spring. Thus just week as we came back from Charlotte, for example, nothing would do but that we take a detour into the wilds of V1rgnia’s Albemarle County and search for a fire pink; and never mind, either, that you can buy a perfectly fine fire pink at the nursery right here at home - better to spend four or five extra gallon of gas and nearly miss our evening appointments so that we can get a free one!
But of course the reason for all this wild flower craze, in part, is that it keeps us in touch with our Kentucky roots, and I do mean roots. It keeps ms reminded of the place we came from the, the place you were all privileged to view for two breathtaking minutes yesterday afternoon. And a good many of our wildflowers came from the days in which we lived in eastern Kentucky and spent our spare time laboring down mountain trails to find flowers.
It was on just one such journey into the wilds of Rockcastle County that my wife and her friends met Godfrey Isaacs. Godfrey Isaacs was in the valley manufacturing sorghum molasses in the old time way- grinding the cane between millstones turned by mule power. And since you do not see this sort of thing every day, my wife and her friends stopped to visit with Godfrey Isaacs. As it turned out, they were the first outsiders - the first people from outside that valley - that Godfrey Isaacs had seen or talked with in a long while. He lived in a place so remote, so isolated, that the school bus came through only once a week, in good weather. And it soon became apparent that Godfrey Isaacs, in this splendid isolation, knew absolutely nothing about what was going on the rest of the world. Wars and rumors of wars he had never heard of. Inflation, traffic jams, crime waves, presidential politics - of these he had no knowledge. And when someone asked him whether he ever saw a newspaper, he asked, "What’s a newspaper?"
So of course someone explained to Godfrey Isaacs that a newspaper was this very useful pub1ication that came out every day and told you about what was going on all over the world and how it got that way and what was probably going to happen next. All this Godfrey Isaacs studied for a moment, then he smiled and drew himself up to his full height, and announced, "Well, you see, I’m a Baptist preacher" (Always, always, be careful when somebody begins a sentence like that). Well, I’m a Baptist preacher, and I have my Bible. And my Bible tells me all I need to know. It tells me the past, the present, and the future. I don’t reckon I need a newspaper"
I have my Bible, it tells me all I need to know. How do you feel about that? What’s your reaction to that? I feel two ways about it, myself. I have two equal but opposite reactions. On the one hand, you and I know that it’s clearly nonsense. It’s nonsense in that no one can live and function in our kind of world without awareness of what’s going on, without some knowledge of culture and politics and arts and sports and science and literature and on and on and on. That we are certain about, and could easily point out that even Godfrey Isaacs in Rockcastle County needed more than his Bible to get by.
But I have another feeling, too; I have an opposite reaction. And that is that too few of us have seen what a resource the Bible truly is. Too few of us have taken seriously enough the claims of the Scripture to be inspired and profitable and able to cut through the smokescreens of our lives to the true and living word. Too few of us have seen the Bible as more than a convenient compendium of neat little sayings, to be hauled out to fit our moods. The Bible, I have the Bible, it tells me all I need to know. That’s not as far off base as it seems; it tells me all I need to know, in some sense, about my self. It tells me all I can handle, more than I can deal with, about my human condition. It tells me of the ways of the Almighty and it spells out the story of my redemption. It may not tell me in the same way the history books or the newspapers or the scientists do about my past, my present and my future; and I am quite sure that it does not tell me quite what it tells Godfrey Isaacs about his past, present, and future. But it is, this book, a penetrating discoverer of the destiny of this world and of the glories of Him who has overcome this world.