Oct 10 2010

A Book With No Words

BFSP Blackwater Falls 090St. Augustine is one of the most significant figures or voices in church history.  In seminary I read his Confessions and came to see why it is considered a classic of Christian devotional literature.  In this book Augustine notes, “God has made us for Himself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Him.”  I consider this passage to almost be on the same level as Scripture.  It rings true in my heart and explains a lot of things.

I also appreciate what Augustine had to say about God and nature.  Writing in the fourth century he said “Some people, in order to discover God, read books.  But there is a great book; the very appearance of created things.  Look about you!  Look below you!  Note it.  Read it.  God, who you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink.  Instead He set before your eyes the things He had made.  Can you ask for a louder voice than that?”

MNF 888I happen to be one of those people Augustine wrote about when he said some people read books to discover God.  I have a personal library of over 15,000 books.  I love to read and have learned much about God through the books I’ve read.  Still, I, and others, need Augustine’s reminder that there is another book that we need to be turning to—a book not written with ink.  In Creation we find a wonderful volume that will teach us much about the God we seek to discover. 

Augustine is pretty emphatic about this.  He says “look about you!,” “look below you!,” “note it,”  “read it.”   It was his conviction that we hear God speak louder here—in Creation–than in all the books written about God.   I suspect he would have even included his own books in this great claim.

If you are one who longs to “discover God” or want to know Him better, I encourage you to take Augustine’s advice.  Start reading that “book not written with ink.”  Get outside and get to know God.


(I took the images above in West Virginia last week.  The top image was captured at Blackwater Falls State Park.  The bottom image was taken in the Monogahela National Forest.)