The power of a book—and one in particular

From manuscripts handwritten on clay tablets, on papyrus rolls, and on vellum pages sewn together, and then on pages printed on paper by printing presses—and now transmitted digitally onto computers, tablets, and smartphones—books have been engaging and connecting individual thinkers with worlds, ideas, and peoples beyond themselves for thousands of years. 

An amazing article about the value of reading books appeared in The Wall Street Journal’s weekend edition, November 26–27, 2016. It was titled “The need to read.” In it Will Schwalbe spoke of the blessings coming from the connectivity the internet era provides, but also that we need some relief from the constant interruptions it has brought into our lives. “Reading,” he said, “is one of the few things you do alone that can make you feel less alone. It is a solitary activity that connects you to others” (p. C2). 

I can attest that curling up in a chair and reading a paperbound book (or more recently a digital book) is one of life’s most valuable adventures. Scads of books have enriched my experience through the years, not the least of which is the Holy Bible, which has been a bestseller for centuries because of its ability to engage the reader in spiritual enrichment that touches the very core of human need. In connection with the Bible, the one book that has been the most powerful influence in my life—a book that has been continually engaging my thinking significantly for decades—is Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. It contains within its covers the divine laws of God Christ Jesus practiced, which were revealed to Mrs. Eddy by God through her deep-seated love for and trial-driven search of the Holy Scriptures. Thus, Science and Health is the fulfillment of the Comforter Jesus promised God would send to explain his teachings; and it is the manifestation of the “ ‘little book,’ open for all to read and understand” (Science and Health, p. 559) that was prophesied to by an angel to John the Revelator on the Isle of Patmos (see Revelation 10:1–9). 

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Bible Lens
Bible Lens—February 6–12, 2017
February 6, 2017

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