the Bible – God’s guide for life #1 Introduction


The American Bill Bryson wrote a book about his experiences in Britain called Notes from a Small Island. In it he describes an the English approach to travel:

Welcome to Shepton Mallet sign
Welcome to Shepton Mallet sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you mention in a pub that you intend to drive from, say, Surrey to Cornwall… your companions will puff their cheeks, look knowingly at each other, and blow out air as if to say, ‘Well, now that’s a bit of a tall order,’ and then they’ll launch into a lively and protracted discussion of whether it’s better to take the A30 to Stockbridge and then the A303 to Illchester or the A361 to Glastonbury via Shepton Mallet. Within minutes the conversation will plunge off into a level of detail that leaves you as a foreigner, swivelling your head in quiet wonderment.

‘You know that lay-by outside Warminster, the one with the grit box with the broken handle?’ one of them will say. You know, just past the turnoff for Little Puking but before the B6029 mini-roundabout. By the dead sycamore.’

At this point, you find you are the only person in the group not nodding vigorously.

This sounds rather like life to me – lots of people telling you the way to go but your head swivels and you find you are “not nodding vigorously”. The difference is that the people in Bryson’s ‘local’ actually knew the way, the route was clear in their minds. And, of course, life is not like that. I see the equivalent of cars driving around in circles, ending up in cul-de-sacs and going the wrong way up a one-way street all the time. Why?

English: Market Cross Shepton Mallet - "M...
Market Cross Shepton Mallet – “Milestone” Close up of the plaque which states the miles to various destinations from Shepton Mallet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s go somewhere far bigger than Britain to think about this. One of the The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams says at the beginning

“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.”

The next page reads:

“There is another theory which states that this has already happened”

In other words you can’t make sense of things because it’s all a meaningless jumble anyway. Humanly speaking, it seems everything is confusion. But it need not be. Instead of a guide to the galaxy we need a guide to life. And there is one, one that is increasingly being ignored but has proved to be a sure handbook for tens thousands, if not millions, of people for centuries.

A good guide will not only tell you the way to your destination, but give advice, point out useful things along the way, tell you how to avoid problems and also tell you what to do if you get into trouble. The guide we will be looking at in this seminar series is all this and more. Above all a guide must be reliable. How do we know this ’Guide to Life’ is reliable? Because it is the handbook written by the giver of life. The Bible is the Maker’s Handbook.


You may find more about the Guide for life

  1. What Are You Seeking?
  2. Lovers of God, seekers and lovers of truth
  3. To create a great journey
  4. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids


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