In 1884, an English schoolmaster named Edwin Abbott Abbott wrote a story about a two-dimensional world called Flatland, inhabited by various shapes (circles, squares, etc.). In Flatland, there is height and width but no depth—the shapes are stuck in two dimensions. But one fateful night, the main character, a Square, is visited by a Sphere from the three-dimensional world of Spaceland.

The Square is dazzled and dumbfounded, and when he tries to tell his fellow Flatlanders about Spaceland and a third dimension, he is locked up.

Over the last few hundred years, what seems to have happened to a great many of us is the exact opposite. Whereas we once understood we lived and moved and had our being in an enchanted three-dimensional world of limitless mystery and wonder, we’ve been duped into devolving back into Flatland. We’ve willingly locked ourselves up in a flat world under the pretenses that doing so would provide us control, comfort, and certainty. Science does it by rejecting all reality that cannot be measured in a beaker. Christianity does it by rigid biblical literalism.

Taken from Faith in the Shadows: Finding Christ in the Midst of Doubt by Austin Fischer. Copyright (c) 2018 by Austin Fischer. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com.

Looking for More Inspiration?

Don’t Miss

The Latest From Our Blog

Check out articles, featured illustrations, and book reviews on all different topics related to ministry.

Book Review: Bono’s Surrender

We were 25 pubescent 13-year old boys in music class stuck to the straight-backed plastic chairs by our sticky sweat following a raucous hour of physical education at the parochial school we attended. We’d have a lecture on music theory, sing some corny songs, and...

The Banshees of Inisherin Movie Review

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,  Or. what's a heaven for?"  Robert Browning A part of our desire at The Pastor’s Workshop is to help pastors connect the stories in our culture with the stories taking place in culture. This is a somewhat fraught...