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"In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines." Proverbs 18.17

Conversation, especially with those of differing perspectives, has the effect of developing our understanding of the world around and within us. Provided we are listening and not simply broadcasting our own assumptions and prejudices, we allow the better knowledge of others to enrich our own grasp of the issues being considered which, in turn, helps towards fairer and more balanced opinions. The trouble with social media is that, through clever algorithms and without our awareness, we are fed news and views which are designed to intensify our assumptions and feed our prejudice, rather than to inform and challenge us. The consequence is a divided society occupied by narrow citizens.

Historically, Christians have sat under the Bible, as the source of divine wisdom and the revelation of God's activity in creation. Since the Enlightenment, various forms of literary criticism have placed the reader above Holy Scripture, in the assumption that the Bible is to be approached like any other text. Nothing is sacred! Here again, we risk being fed a lie without our being aware, because the scientific mindset is conjectural yet it is applied as if it is definitive.

Engaging with the world as it is, rather than as we assume or simply do not even realise, involves that spirit of uncorrupted curiosity which we associate with young children. No wonder Jesus commended their approach! In so doing, the Lord was not advocating naivety. Rather, he was leading us back to that attitude of wonder which is the key to learning and growth.



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