In his book Primal, Mark Batterson shares this story: “In 1801, Sir David Brewster was awarded an honorary master of arts degree from the University of Edinburgh and was ordained to preach. His first sermon turned into his last sermon. Brewster was so nervous when he got behind the pulpit that he vowed never to do it again. In the words of a colleague, ‘It was a pity for the National Church of Scotland, but a good day for science.’ Brewster decided to pursue his first love, the science of optics. In 1816, his childlike passion produced an invention that has captured the imagination of children ever since. Brewster called it a kaleidoscope. Containing fragments of colored glass, the kaleidoscope reflects light in an endless variety of colors and patterns.
“And so it is with Scripture. According to rabbinic tradition, every word of sacred Scripture has 70 faces and 600,000 meanings.
“If I had to describe Scripture in a single word, it would be kaleidoscopic. You can read the same verse on different occasions, and it will speak to you in totally different ways. It reminds me of the adage attributed to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus: ‘You never step into the same river twice.’ In a similar vein, you never read the same verse of Scripture the same way twice. That is a testament to its divine Author. The Spirit who inspired the writers of Scripture thousands of years ago is the same Spirit who illuminates readers today.”
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