A scene from The Canterbury Psalter (12th century)

“Quite …Able to Communicate”

There’s a little story in Brother Andrew’s classic book God’s Smuggler that always comes to mind when I think about what Christians have in common. The gist of it is that two believers with no shared language find a way to communicate anyway via their shared love of the Bible. I first heard the story as a little kid, when my dad read it to me from the little Penguin paperback edition of the bestseller (1967, co-authored with John and Elizabeth Sherrill). And I’m probably guilty of re-telling it quickly, with insufficient detail, to make a point about Christian unity. So here’s the detail, from ch. 15 of the original edition (I don’t have, and haven’t consulted, the Chosen/Baker updated edition, which is the official best way to get the whole book).

Anyway, for my own future reference, here’s the story. Brother Andrew (real name Anne van der Bijl) is in Romania (spelled Rumania in the 1960s edition), attempting to transfer smuggled Bibles to the right person. Into the waiting room comes his contact, Gheorghe:

Obviously this is only going to work for the kind of Christians who are so at home in the Bible that they can quickly find their way to greetings and well-wishings. But those are the kind of “Bible people” Christians who are most likely to find that they have much deeper communion than just being fans of a particular book.

About This Blog

Fred Sanders is a theologian who tried to specialize in the doctrine of the Trinity, but found that everything in Christian life and thought is connected to the triune God.

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