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My Dad’s Bible

In his recent book, The Wisdom Pyramid, Brett McCracken shares the following story about his father:

I will always remember my dad's Bible. As a kid, it was a fixture in our house. Thick, black leather-bound, with gold leaf edges; stuffed full of church bulletins, Scripture, memory cards, and who knows what else. The well-worn pages were adorned with underlined verses, variously colored highlighted sections, and scribbled margins. I saw dad with it almost every day—studying during his quiet time, preparing a Sunday, school lesson, or maybe leading our family in a dinnertime devotional. The presence of dad's Bible nearby was a comfort. I think it made the Bible more credible to me that, for my dad, it wasn't just a prop to bring to church on Sundays. It was his beloved source of guidance for everyday life.

My life was full of the Bible: learning Old Testament stories on flannel graph in Sunday school; memorizing the order of the Bible's sixty-six books in Vacation Bible School; doing "sword drills" in Awana; memorizing the "Romans Road"; singing songs that went:

The B-I-B-L-E

Yes that's the book for me!

I stand alone on the Word of God: the B-I-B-L-E!

The Bible was the book that shaped my life more than anything else, which is odd looking back on it: an Oklahoma kid being profoundly shaped by an ancient collection of Jewish literature and two-thousand-year-old Mediterranean letters. But I was, and I am.

And my story isn't unique. The Bible has been a treasured source of truth and life all over the world, across countless generations. It manages to speak to the soccer mom in San Diego as much as the truck driver in Taipei; it guides the life of a skateboarding teenager in 2020 Buenos Aires as much as it did the blacksmith in 1520 Liverpool. Everywhere you go in the world, people who share almost nothing else in common can say in unison: "The B-I-B-L-E Yes, that's the book for me!" This can be said of no other book in the world. No other source of truth is as universally beloved and consistently cross-cultural as the Christian Bible.

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