shedding new light on stories of old

Fish Tales (From the Belly of the Whale) - Excerpt 1

Why do we eagerly run toward the light one day and then eagerly flee from it the next?

The Mirror of Truth

Abandoning the Truth That Rescues Me

It’s been said that confession is good for the soul. If that’s true, then I’d like to make my confession, here and now. When I look in the mirror, I’m never quite sure about what I see. Is it the face of a fearless seeker of truth, or of one afraid of embracing the truth? I can’t help wondering: What is it about a person that causes them to eagerly run toward the light one day and then eagerly flee from it the next? Why do I find myself abandoning the truth that so often rescues me just when I need it most?

But wait. Could there be another reason why I’m so divided? Is it because The Bible often creates as much confusion as it does clarity? After all, it’s not only the source of the very best that humanity can offer the world, but it can also be the source of the very worst. And how is that even possible, anyway? Does that mean there’s a better way to interpret its message? And if so, am I alone in the search for this better way or actually one among many? Certainly I’m not the first person to ask the question: What is truth? And I’m certainly not the last to wonder why no one bothered to offer an answer.

Then it dawns on me: Maybe we were told the answer, but we didn’t like the answer we were given. So, when we ask how The Bible can inspire both the best and worst in humanity, maybe the problem doesn’t lie so much with the book itself but with something altogether different. But what?

Or should I say ... who?

Story Continues Below
To hear Kent and Zen Garcia talk about correcting biblical misconceptions, from June 23rd, 2021, CLICK BELOW.
Story Continues From Above

Of course, the Scriptures describe the role that many have played in this great whodunit of the ages. Naturally, there’s God. There is—if you believe The Bible—the devil. There are the myriad ones who’ve made their way across the stage of biblical history: Adam and Eve; and Cain and Abel; there’s Noah and his family, and Abraham and his descendants; Moses, the prophets; Jesus and the apostles. And just like every great story, each of these timeless tales has a hero and a villain. More often than not, though, while it’s easy to blame all our problems on the devil for his role in humanity’s downfall, or God for letting it happen, it turns out that the real villain is us.

When we look in the mirror of truth, in those moments when we’re being perfectly honest with ourselves, what do we see but two faces staring back at us? No doubt this is the source of many a cartoon where we see an angel sitting on someone’s shoulder and a demon sitting on the other while the torn soul in the middle wrestles with the irrefutable logic of what’s being whispered into either ear.

The idea is as old as the story of the Garden of Eden. Eve gazed thoughtfully at the Forbidden Fruit in her hand, knowing full well she shouldn’t eat it. But right there in her ear was the voice of reason, whispering innocently: “Did God really mean what He said?”

Of course, we insist that, given the same opportunity, we’d have done things differently. We’d never make the same mistake she and Adam made—if given the chance, that is.

So what did God do? He figured out how to call our bluff, so that every day and every hour, we are faced with the same dilemma. We’re faced with having to make a choice between the advice that we’re hearing in one ear or the other. “This is the right path.” “No, this is it.” “Are you sure God said to go this way?”

And sadly, because we’re all made of the same stuff as our first parents, we, who insist we’d do things differently, end up betraying our own cause, just as they did. The Apostle Paul described our dilemma quite eloquently:

I’ve discovered this principle in life—that although I want to do what’s right, I inevitably do what’s wrong. I love God’s Law with all my heart, but there’s another power within me that’s at war with my mind.1

Yes, Satan, as the voice in one ear, does all he can to shipwreck our lives; and yes, God, as the voice in the other ear, does all He can to steer us clear. But guess what, folks? We’re still the only ones to blame for repeating the same mistakes that were made so long ago.

But all is not lost. Because in looking at this age-old drama, this inevitable chain of events doesn’t spell the end of us. In the hands of the eternal God of redemption, we find ourselves on a new path that teaches us something we could never have learned had we not failed so miserably to begin with. Thus, the end of ourselves, which seemed like such a tragedy at first, actually winds up acting as the prelude for a transformation of biblical proportions.

It’s to just such a journey of discovery, then, that I invite all those who’ve ever asked the same questions that I have: What makes The Bible so easy to misinterpret? What forces conspire against us to complicate matters? And what can we do to counteract those forces in order to lay hold of the truth that’s literally staring us in the face?

So ends this Excerpt from FISH TALES (FROM THE BELLY OF THE WHALE). To read more, please click on one of the following links:

Read a Preview to reveal what we see in the mirror: the face of a fearless seeker of truth, or of one afraid of truth.

Read the Next Excerpt to see how The Bible has inspired many of the finest contributions to human culture, and some of the most damaging.

Read the Next Preview to discover how the truth of Scripture is often distorted by those who wish to turn light into darkness.

Read the Previous Preview to see if you can tell the difference between a genuine message from The Bible and a counterfeit version.

To hear Kent talk more about his book Fish Tales (From the Belly of the Whale), CLICK HERE.
To get a copy of Fish Tales (From the Belly of the Whale), CLICK HERE.
To hear an audio presentation of Fish Tales, CLICK HERE.
To watch a video presentation of Fish Tales, CLICK HERE.
Selected Bibliography

1. Romans 7:21-23