The Book was Better

When a film is made from a novel, people who have read the novel often exclaim, "The book was better!"

One reason, I think, is that we interact with books and we see them visually. We form our own images of the characters. The film-maker can never recreate the pictures in our heads. Even worse, film-makers often presume to make significant changes to the story. Therefore, disappointment occurs when the screen version does not match the template in our head.

In religion we have a similar situation. People rarely read the Bible anymore, except in brief devotional snippets. So, when they hear something about the Bible they don't know whether it is true or not. Thus, they can be lead astray very easily. The message can be changed and because of ignorance, the listener thinks it is actually in the Bible.

When we study the Bible we interact with it and absorb it so that it becomes very real to us, like a great novel. Then, when we hear men talk about it, we can check their words by making a comparison with Scripture. We can "Test the spirits to see whether they are of God" (1 John 4:1).

This knowledge enables us to listen to men with discretion. When their teachings are not consistent with Scripture we can fall back on truth and refute their errors.

We can say, "Your teaching may be interesting, but I like the Book better." Because only in the Book do we find Jesus from whom all blessings flow (John 14:6).

Richard Mansel

Published in The Old Paths Archive