WRIGHT WAY: Use your power of reason
Jan 05, 2011 | 3982 views | 0 0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Sunday school teacher was discussing the parable of the prodigal son with several young students. Toward the end of the lesson, the teacher asked, “What happened when the prodigal son returned?”

“His father went out to meet him and hurt himself,” Johnny shouted.

“Hurt himself? No, the Bible doesn’t tell us he hurt himself,” corrected the teacher.

“Oh, yes, it does,” Johnny replied. “It says his father ran out to meet him and fell on his neck.”

The teacher laughed, explained the difference in the term, and attempted to highlight how bitter the older brother was in the parable. After describing the rejoicing of the household over the return of the wayward son, the teacher spoke of someone not happy on the occasion.

“Can anyone tell us who this was?” he asked.

“I know! I know!” Johnny shouted. “It was the fattened calf!”

Although these were not the answers his teacher was looking for, no one could deny that little Johnny was trying to reason on the Scriptures. This is an admirable quality since James 3:17 says “The wisdom from above is ... reasonable.” — New American Standard Bible.

According to Acts 17:2, Paul reasoned from the Scriptures and Peter wrote at 1Peter 3:15, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” — New International Version.

To reason on the Scriptures we need two things. We need to be reasonable ourselves and we need accurate knowledge. Why is this so important? Because without accurate information we cannot reason properly.

Consider the time the Sunday school teacher asked the class, “What did Jesus say about people getting married?”

Johnny quickly answered, “Jesus said, ‘Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.’”

Little Johnny had Scriptural information but he gave the wrong answer because he still needed to develop his power of reason. How? At Proverbs 2:3-6 and James 1:5 the Bible encourages us to pray and study hard to get knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Then as we read familiar accounts, we can practice reasoning on the Scriptures.

For example, when reading Genesis 3:8, the King James Version reads, “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” Here’s a question: How can you hear a voice walking?

Is it possible Adam and Eve heard God’s voice moving through the garden as He was calling them? Could that be similar to how a blind person hears people’s voices coming toward him and going past him? Since he cannot see them, it might sound like he hears voices walking.

Some translations, like the The New King James Version, reads, “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.”

If this was the case, why is God making sounds? John 4:24 says “God is a spirit.” This is the only reference I know where anyone ever heard God’s voice walking and calling out to Adam and Eve, according to Genesis 3:9.

But here is the real question: Why is God doing this? He either knows or can get to know any and everything. So why are they hearing God’s voice asking them where are they?

Is it possible God allowed the first married couple to have their privacy in the Garden of Eden? Could they be alone without God having a need to watch their every step or overhear their every conversation? Was there any reason to oversee them every single moment?

If not — might it show these humans respect and dignity to alert them of His presence into their paradise home? We know God did not have to leave heaven to see what Adam and Eve was doing or had done.

But if He wanted to respect their privacy and not visit them unannounced, their hearing His “voice walking” or the sound of God coming, was a kind way to alert them of His drawing near. What do you think? How can this effect how we treat others?

Should faith built on what the Bible teaches be compatible with reason? Romans 12:1 says for our worship to be “acceptable to God” it should be “reasonable service” or as the Jerusalem Bible translates it: “In a way that is worthy of thinking beings.”

When the Apostles visited the people in Beroea with the gospel, Acts 17:11 said, “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” — New International Version. Why not imitate their example?

Examining the Scriptures, reasoning on them, to see if what we’re told is reasonable and true is a responsibility, privilege and a God-given right. This will strengthen our faith and help us become fully “convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.” — Romans 8:38. New Living Translation.

*For a copy of The Little White Book of Light featuring more than 100 Wright Way columns, visit barnesandnoble.com, booksamillion.com and amazon.com.