Is there a Star Car in your future?

I don’t like religion. Religion can get hung up providing answers to questions no one is asking. What I want is a Person who knows my name, who talks with me, who takes my place dying the death I deserve, and rising from the dead to give me the eternal life I don’t deserve. The Bible tells us that Jesus is that Person. This raises some thorny questions. The Bible claims that it is one hundred percent authentic, one hundred percent dependable and trustworthy. But when I read the Bible I am faced with the question of how can I believe what cannot be believed?

The Bible claims to be our manufacturer’s handbook. Handbooks are meant to be studied and applied. Airplane pilots know that their lives depend on knowing everything in the manufacturer’s handbook. Let’s apply this to a parable. I call it the Parable of the Star Car.

Imagine yourself in another world, another reality. In your driveway sets an unusual car. While very old, in appearance it looks futuristic. Its two doors, hinged at the top, give the appearance of a gull’s wings when fully opened. Its iridescent pearl grey color is accented with silver trim. A “car,” similar to yours, sits in eve-ry driveway. Like everyone else, you have learned how to “drive” your car. You can back out of your drive-way, drive to your destination, and return. You have been told many times, indeed you’ve attended many lectures where it was “preached,” that that is what a car does, and that that is all it does. However, as you sit in your car and look at the console, at panels that look like they could be doors that slide open, you have a gnawing suspicion that this car is designed to do more.

Stories, or myths as some would say, are told that it is actually a “Star Car” designed to travel to distant planets. This suspicion grows as you read the manufacturer’s handbook. Admittedly, the handbook is a little difficult to understand. It is very old and its language archaic. The “experts” all seem to agree that the car is doing all that the car is designed to do. True, ancient copies of the Manufacturer’s Handbook say men drove them out into space. However, the “experts” remind us that that was only a metaphor and the first readers of the Handbook understood it as such.

There is no evidence to suggest it actually happened. That’s another thing that bothers you. There ap-pear to be countless scholars who can tell you all about the Manufacturer’s Handbook. There are experts on the age of the manuscripts, experts on whether it was written by one author or many, experts on the mean-ing of words, but there are no scholars, no experts who can tell you how to do what the Handbook says to do!

It comes to pass that you begin a quest of your own. You want to know if there is more to your car than just driving back and forth to work. You want to know if there is truth in the ancient stories. How will you find out? First, you decide to temporarily set aside all that the scholars have taught. You will study the Manufacturer’s Handbook as if reading it for the first time. You will assume the writer is saying what he means and means what he says. If what is written is a figure of speech the writer will say so. If not, you will assume the literal meaning. Wherever words are archaic or meanings have changed, you will restate them in today’s language. Second you will expand your mind. You will read things that challenge you to think big, and envision the impossible as though it were possible. You will seek out like minded people who also believe there is more to their cars. You will share what you have learned, and your visions of what is yet to be learned.

Then one day, as you are sitting in your car, with the Manufacturer’s Handbook in hand, studying the console, you see something you’ve overlooked. You can’t believe your eyes! You read it again, then you do it. As you turn the ignition key on you reach out with your other hand and touch a button you had always assumed was only a decoration. The panels on the console slide open. Before you are all the switches, controls, guidance system, indicator lights of a “Star Car!” You spend the next weeks and months learning. The Manufacturer’s Handbook you thought so outdated and ancient has become a new book. Following its instructions you learn how to accelerate you Star Car for lift off. You learn how to overcome gravity and move out into space. You learn how to rise above the sun and explore vistas of opportunity undreamed of before.

If you were to take a survey to find out how many people would like to own the Star Car described above, I don’t think you’d find very many. We are too comfortable where we are and with what we have. The life we are living with its miseries and challenges may be far from ideal but at least it is familiar and we’ve found ways to cope. I’m not sure, but I think this comfortableness with things as they are is one of the reasons why people have difficulty with the Christian’s Bible. And yet, deep down, in the back of our minds like an irritation we can’t scratch, there may be the suspicion that we really do have a Star Car, that we real-ly can soar above the sun. Sometimes you hear people say something like “I was meant for more than this.” Deep inside our minds may also be the suspicion that the Christian’s Bible is actually the Manufacturer’s Handbook that tells us how.

If for no other reason than to settle things once and for all in our minds we need to answer the question, Is the Bible myth or truth? The temptation is to immediately assume the Bible is basically a collection of myths. To assume that is dishonest. It is drawing conclusions without examining any verifiable evidence. To help us set aside things we’ve been taught and things we’ve thought, we are going to examine the Bible in an unusual way. We are going to stand back, as it were, and look at the whole story all at once. Seen from this perspective the story the Bible tells is a strange story. It almost reads like science fiction from a galaxy far, far away. It is a story that many say is true. True, yes. But it will sound like one of the strangest tales you have ever heard. Many will tell you the story is not true. They can’t prove it isn’t true, but they will say it anyway.

It is the story about the greatest Sorcerer of all (not a weaver of spells and who uses magic and potions and stuff, but the ultimate source of all power Who needs no spells or magic or potions and stuff). The story is told in the only book the Sorcerer says is authentic. So the question is, is this source really true? Or is it a tall tale? Or even a myth? There are many voices out there saying the Book conflicts with science, that it is just a collection of myths and tales and some wisdom literature. If you have wondered, if you have asked those questions, you might find these articles to be stimulating and thought-provoking. It will lead you on a quest of discovery. It may take you down paths you’ve not gone before. Our method of inquiry will be the one prescribed by the Sorcerer Himself Who keeps saying, “Look at the facts!” Is the story True? Is it a tall tale? Is it a myth? You are going to have to make up your own mind!

(This parable of The Star Car is taken from my book, How Can I Believe What Can’t Be Believed?)

Till Next Time,
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