Faith & Worship: My very favorite book

Published 8:00 am Thursday, January 17, 2019

The writer of Ecclesiastes says, “Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh” (12:12, NKJV).

He’s right on both counts. There are 16 million books in the Library of Congress. There are many more books to come.

And as for study, too much can indeed wear you out. My late father-in-law, God bless him, used to have a saying, “That makes my brain tired.”

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Personally, I like books and I like to study, in moderation, so as not to “make my brain tired.”

The thing I like about books is they enable me to get inside the mind of the author, think his or her thoughts, and benefit from the insights I derive. On occasion, an author will even write in such a way that I can sense his or her heart in a matter.

My favorite book of all is the Bible. In it, I find the mind and heart of God.

Karl Barth, the famous Swiss-German theologian, was lecturing in a divinity school here in the states. Concluding his lecture, the president of the seminary said he would no doubt like to answer questions from the audience, but he was not feeling well.

So, the president said he would ask a question of Dr. Barth on behalf of the audience. Turning to him he asked, “Of all the theological insights you have ever had, which do you consider to be the greatest of them all?”

This question was asked of a man who penned some of the most erudite theological works ever written. Students waited, pens poised and tablets ready, to jot down Dr. Barth’s response.

Dr. Barth closed his eyes and pondered the question for a while. Then he smiled, opened his eyes, and said, “The greatest theological insight that I have ever had is this: Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so!”

The Bible tells us that God is mindful of us and that he has a heart for us. He loves us so much that he willingly endured the cross for us. To know that God thinks that much of me and has so much love for me that Jesus died for me, makes me want to have him in my thoughts and on my heart, and love him in return.

Is it not the same with you?