The Bible is not a magic book. The Bible is a menu. The words themselves have no power apart from their ability to induce belief. The words are pointing towards the thing itself.

The Bible Is A Menu Not A Magic Book

Picture of a blooming' onion from outback steakhouse menu to make the point the Bible is a menu
Picture of a blooming' onion from outback steakhouse menu to make the point the Bible is a menu
An Outback Steakhouse menu even has pictures, but even these won’t feed you…looks good though, doesn’t it?

# 32 on my, 99 Life Tips – A List is: The Bible is a menu describing a life that is available. Memorizing a menu won’t feed you.

I realize that, to many people, those words will come across as either sacrilegious, anti-Christian, or both. Nevertheless, after 35 years of careful consideration, I am willing to say again, the Bible is a menu. It describes a life that is available. Memorizing a menu won’t feed you. It is not that I don’t care if some are offended. But, I care more that too many have not well considered the matter and thus venerate the menu, mistaking it for the things it describes.

In an interesting synchronous side-trip, this morning, having already decided to write on this subject, I got the following link to Seth Godin’s blog. His post today is called, Code Words. In it, in his characteristic, brief, minimalist way, he makes the argument that all words are code, or rather, that every word is a code. This…this is what I mean by my tip.

It’s probable that I cannot sum up all of language theory in a sentence. A quick Google search, it turns out, isn’t so quick. Major research universities devote entire departments to the study of language. For example, this link to the Department of Linguistics at Georgetown University. So, it’s a big discipline to try to summarize. Here goes: Language, whether spoken or written, is representative of actual ideas or things and not the ideas or things themselves. That will suffice, I believe.

You Can Memorize A Menu And Still Leave Hungry

That being the case, I ask each of you how many times you have read the words Bloomin’ Onion and Bone-In Ribeye from the Outback Steakhouse menu and pushed away from the table satisfied? What if you memorized the menu? Would that help? 

I understand the silliness of my comparison. But, can we agree the menu is not the point of the restaurant experience? You do not go to a steakhouse to read the menu. The food, the steak, is the point. If you look at a menu, see an item, order it, then eat it, the menu has accomplished its purpose. It led you to the thing itself. To get full, or receive any nutritional effects, you will need to take some additional steps after reading the menu.

That’s how it is with the Bible. It is not a magic book. The Bible is a menu. The words themselves have no power apart from their ability to induce belief. The words are pointing towards the thing itself. They are not the thing. To make the Bible more than that is the equivalent of making the menu the point of going out to eat. But think with me, if all the Bibles in print vanished simultaneously, would the God described disappear too?

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The Bible Is A Menu
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The Bible Is A Menu
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The Bible is a menu. It describes a life that is available. Memorizing a menu won’t feed you. It is not that I don’t care if some are offended. But, I care more that too many have not well considered the matter and thus venerate the menu, mistaking it for the things it describes.
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1 thought on “The Bible Is A Menu Not A Magic Book”

  1. Pingback: 99 Life Tips – A List : Greg Proffit Writing

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