I’m listening to Francis Schaeffer’s book The God Who is There, which I’m really enjoying. In the book, he gives one particular illustration about the truth of the Bible which I wanted to share, because it encapsulates my own experience as I was first reading the Bible, and explains what started me on the road that eventually led to me becoming a Christian.

In addressing how we don’t arrive at faith in the God of the Bible solely by reason, but not also without reason, Schaeffer has the reader imagine finding a bunch of fragments of the pages of a book – perhaps the top inch of each page of a whole book, or something similar. If we had the top inch of each page, what we could read wouldn’t be enough for us to understand the whole story of the book, or even really to make sense of it – but it would be enough to give us some idea of what the book was about, and tell us something of the characters, etc. This, Schaeffer argues, is like what we can see and know about ourselves from looking at ourselves and the world we live in – we know a great deal, but we don’t understand the whole story, the whole picture, and can’t fully make sense of life.

Now, imagine having that set of page fragments, and then finding the remaining portion of all of the pages from the book somewhere, perhaps in the attic. By taking the newly discovered set of page fragments and placing them together with the pages you already have, you would be able to complete the book. It would be easy to tell that the remaining portions match the fragments, because taken together they complete the story. And once the story is completed, you could read the whole story and finally make sense of the whole book.

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