Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Monday, May 23, 2005

Just flew back from Guangzhou. Boy, it sure is good to be back in the North country! Don't get me wrong--I do like a good steam bath. But I don't really prefer to live in a steam bath.

I think Beijing has about the nicest climates of any place I have ever lived. I will admit, the middle of the summer does get a little humid--somewhat like what Guangzhou has been like this past week. But Spring and Fall are indescribably beautiful, and the winters are dry, mild, and sunny.

This morning, before I left, I was sitting by the lake there on the campus of SISE, having my devotions, when a young student walked up to me. She was an English major. She saw me reading my Bible...

"What book is that?"

"It's a Bible."

"Is it a good book?"

"Yes, it's a very good book."

"But have you ever read it all the way through?"

"Well, I have read it through in English, but not in Chinese."

The ignorance of scripture that I see exhibited by Chinese students is disconcerting. Not that American students or scholars have a better attitude toward the Bible. A professor at the college were I graduated walked into his "Bible as Literature" class, and said, "I don't want any 'soul-savers' in this class!" Nevertheless, the book is still studied, and regarded as having influence and credibility.

I took a mythology class in college. My professor announced to the class that every time he got a hold of a Bible, he took the books written by Paul an ripped them out. I believe it, too, because this guy was a little crazy. But the same professor said that the Old Testament historical books were absolutely impeccable in their accuracy.

China is not a Christian country. One should not expect to see the Bible accorded the same respect that might be normal in a "Judeo-Christian" culture. But such complete ignorance of the Book which has had such a profound impact on Western culture is hard to justify.

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