“Think Red Ink” says author, Don C Harris. Listen in as Catch A Vision Hosts, Suzie and Ally, come to understand the concept of red ink (the words of Jesus) i.e., thinking like Jesus.
• Information about the author, Don C Harris – Author, Radio and Television Host, Speaker
• Background information about the book – Think Red Ink is a reference to the words of Jesus which are printed in red in many Bibles.
• Author’s purpose – The author’s purpose is to provoke Christians to love truth over tradition; to give people permission to doubt and to investigate their faith in the light of the Scriptures, not denominational creeds; to persuade people to leave fantasy and honestly consider what Jesus said.
• Author’s thesis – The authority of the words of Jesus (the substance of the admonition to “think red ink”) provide the Scriptural foundation for Christianity.
• Summary – Think Red Ink relays the life of Don C Harris as he struggles from childhood to believe the Bible and the inconsistent doctrines of the churches he attended; later even as he excelled in the business of church – he became disappointed with God and walked away. However, instead of becoming atheist, Don decided to give the Bible another read with the commitment to believe what he found, rather than to search for what he believed. Don traveled the United States living in a converted city-bus motor home for 20+ years. This “exile journey” separated Don from alliances and obligations to orthodoxy. Using the literary device of personal stories interwoven with an introduction to the Traveler (Don’s revelation of history), the reader is invited to walk along with the Apostle Paul and Don, as the story of the Scriptures comes to life.
• “Think Red Ink” in its declarative form is a cry for men and women to take another listen to the instructions of Jesus, the Son of the God.
• In 2003, Harris wrote his first book, The Questions of Jesus. Don’s second book, The Red Letter Questions, was published by Bridge Logos in 2007.
• Scholarship – Autobiography, solid Biblical foundation, not scientific literature
• Strengths and weaknesses: There are times the theological doctrines piqué a curiosity for more details than this work delivers. Some supporting information is available in the Appendix. The stories of Don’s life are not given in a chronological order, rather, Don utilizes life anecdotes to facilitate the reader in a gestalt process or discovery of theological truths he found. Harris allows, nay, rather demands the reader participate in the revelation and discovery of their own path. He is not a writer who mandates certain processes or ascription of certain beliefs that are applicable to every man…with one exception; he steadfastly draws the reader, the Christian to the authority of Jesus Christ.
• The tone and style of the writing: Informal and conversational
• The effectiveness of the author’s argument: Christian denominational promises offered to Don did not give him the strength or ability to be changed. Exchanging a “bad habit” (smoking) for an “accepted habit” (gossip or overeating) is not the thing that led to the regeneration and strength of the Apostle Paul – Paul learned from the Great Teacher, Jesus. Don maintains this same Teacher is available to all. For a Christian, there can be no greater authority than the words of Christ. Don makes a solid argument for a Christianity which is measured by changed lives.
• The soundness of the author’s conclusions: There is a questioning and an honesty which haunts the reader who is comfortable with accepted traditions and methods of worship. The retooled doctrines, “We’ve decided…” religious practices of today are removed from the simple instructions of Jesus. Think Red Ink is not aligned to a particular set of doctrinal rules. The foundation of the book is the author’s experience with solid Scriptural support.
• The practicality of the author’s recommendations: The idea of obeying Jesus, looking to His words for doctrine is simple, however, the distance between the brilliant advice of a Galilean preacher and the modern Christian practice is expansive in some cases. The basic requirement is simply honesty. A man’s journey to seek truth, not fantasy, to doubt that which could not be supported in church rhetoric. The reader may only see one man’s journey through the trials of life; others will be encouraged by the ensample of a modern witness of the faith of Jesus Christ. Those who love truth will rejoice!
• Don is an iconoclastic man of rare courage. History will compare the revelation of “think red ink” to the revelation of Martin Luther.
Host of The Kovacs Perspective, Steve Kovacs, interviews Don Harris, Author of “Think Red Ink” about Don’s journey to discover “the red ink” in the Scriptures. Neither Steve, nor Don skirt the hard questions about Christianity. Listen now.
If Don’s message rings true and you’d like to hear more . . . join him for his daily, Red Letter Edition – LIVE! radio program. If you have a question, there’s a call-in portion on his Sunday program! (9:00 am MST) Questions by email may be sent to Don@ThinkRedInk.com.
What We Need Is A Living Guide.
As a Quaker, I am often challenged about the fact that I honor the Spirit of God as the ultimate Guide and final authority and not the church, (as does the Catholic faith) nor the Scriptures (as does the Protestant faith). The argument goes like this, “If you let only the Spirit tell you what is right, it could lead you anyplace, but if you are led by the Bible (Catholics say the church) it will lead everyone to the same faith in Christ.” But I must ask, why is the Spirit of God so mistrusted as Guide?
Many feel that unity is only possible if the rules (no matter their source) are laid out and enforced. When the reality is that everyone I know who gives free course to the Spirit of God share a unity in Spirit and faith and doctrine, while the people who have turned their doctrine over to men or printed pages of a Bible are divided on nearly every doctrinal issue! No, if we are honest in our evaluations, we will find that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is unity. That cannot be said about the greatest and most obedient members of churches, or about those most devoted to Bible study.
What makes people afraid to give the reigns of their lives to Christ? Why do they trust a book or a church full of men more so than they do the Spirit of God? Why will we believe what Jesus said and mistrust what He says? Why is it so difficult to accept a living, Spiritual Christ and readily accept a Christ of 2000 years ago? Why is it easier to believe what Jesus said, written down more than 60 years after he said it? We trust what was mouth to ear, and then copied out untold times in different languages, translated by people we do not know, printed, copied, and edited numerous times by people of questionable character, and yet we will accept that as a standard and not even seek the risen, living Savior for guidance for fear of being misled.
What an abundance of knowledge awaits the honest seeker, the pure of heart, the one who hungers and thirsts for righteousness if only they were directed to the well of Living water, the Spirit of the living God! The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to teach and to guide; yet we go only by what we can understand – words on a page that we can point to and declare ourselves “right” and “just.” We gravitate toward the tangible and the controllable. We want only what we can manipulate and use to our advantage. The Holy Spirit is no such a guide. He is not manipulated or controlled and therefore…is not sought.
From early childhood we are anxious of what is beyond our dimension of understanding, and we fear what we cannot control. Whether this fear is learned behavior, a reasoned reaction or an innate response is debatable, but one thing is for sure, we are guilty of not turning seekers of God toward the Spirit. Instead, we send them toward churches and people, books and teachers, memberships, fellowships and rules and doctrines.
We should feel shame for teaching that Jesus is unreachable or only accessible through the intercession and efforts of men. Jesus is alive and well and fully capable of meeting with any and all who seek Him. He can guide and direct a man’s life with finer and finer precision. He can pilot our ship through this hostile atmosphere safely and accurately, but He must have the controls. He does not need to know the consensus of others who have flown here, nor does He need the manual read to Him as He flies, just let Him do what He does best – pilot us!
When the disciples thought that they had encountered Jesus as a ghost, they were astonished. They were frozen and wondered what it was that they were seeing. Fear gripped them and they soon were deafened and stricken dumb with thoughts racing through their mind. Thoughts of spirits and ghosts were now taking the place where there were previously only thoughts confined to the tangible, touchable and “real.” What caused this fear to grip them? The appearance of Christ had interposed another dimension in their thinking.
Peter and Cleopas had just returned with the news of the risen Savior.
“And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.” (Luke 24:36-43)
It is obvious that Jesus wanted to prove to them that He was not a ghost. He, everything that He ever was, His mind, His body, and His Spirit, had risen to be Him again. He was not a spirit; He was exactly as they knew Him to be.
People are still afraid of Spirits
These men, however, were afraid when they thought He was a spirit. Much as we are when we find comfort in the tangible Christ, He who existed two millennia ago. Our fear of the Spirit of God as teacher comes from this fear of what we cannot touch and control. We all know that the Spirit goes where it wants to, and we hope to always end up with plenty of company around us, believing what can be considered orthodox, doing what could be understood as “normal” and living a life not too far from center. Well, forget it! The Spirit of God is not an option as your Teacher; He IS your Teacher. He is not one of several Guides; He IS the Guide promised by the Lord Himself.
Some think that the Bible says,
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the BIBLE will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send THE BIBLE unto you. And when THE BIBLE is come, IT will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment…Howbeit when IT, THE BIBLE, is come, IT will guide you into all truth…”
But it does not say that.
Excerpt from, “The Questions of Jesus,” by Don C Harris, Q. 145 “Why are ye troubled?” (Luke 24:38, “And [Jesus] said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?“
[Insert your question here…] I wish I had a wonderful answer for you… however, in my life I have learned to stop struggling over what has not been revealed to me. Jesus said, “Why ask ye among yourselves of that which I said?” Here’s an excerpt from “The Questions of Jesus” book, Q.118, page 377.
We Should Go To Him
We should have no fear of making Him our teacher and ask Him for clarification or explanation. Why do we go to the professors or other so-called experts? If we but ask, He can make it plain to us. It is His desire to do so. When Jesus explained His comments the disciples exclaimed, “Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now are we sure that thou knowest all things…”
Revelation from the Most High is probably one of the greatest experiences of the Christian’s life. It forms a bond, a communicative bond, between God and us. After all, the main difference between our God and the gods of stone is that our God speaks!
The Scriptures are replete with examples:
Jeremiah 33:2-3, “Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
John 5:39-41, “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men.”
Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
Mark 4:22, “For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was anything kept secret, but that it should come abroad.”
1 Corinthians 2:10, “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
When you do not understand, when the sayings are obscure, when you are not clear on a point, a doctrine, a concept, you are to go to Christ and not one another. He can make it clear, expand upon it, or dispense with it altogether. He is the teacher, He is the revealer, and He is puzzled by your lack of confidence in Him when you go to man and his narrow understanding for answers.
When you are perplexed about something that He is trying to teach and you forsake Him for the wisdom of man, or when He finds your nose in books on Greek and Latin, or discovers that the concept, idea or mystery that He has been trying to reveal to you being bandied about in discussion groups, He asks, “Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said?”
References to the red ink, red letters or red words is to distinctly identify the words spoken by Jesus Christ as recorded in the Scriptures. The origin of the Red Letter Edition Bible is attributed to the 1899 idea of Louis Klopsch who perceived that the words of Jesus should stand out from the rest of the script.
The answer all mankind should know, “What did Jesus say?”
If I extend courtesy to you (not tolerance, not judgment, just a lack of condemnation) and you do the same for me. We can get along forever. We should at least be as good to others as we want them to be to us. Don’t miss this program!
Jesus said it this way, “ …Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself…Thou art not far from the Kingdom of God.”
We must “get” loving our neighbor right! Our love for God is measured by how we love our neighbor.
Oh, really? I’m not. I love the book, live by the book, I like the book, fascinated by the book, glad I have the book – but, I am a child of God. Yeah, He’s the author. That’s a neat deal. We must hear what Jesus is saying. If we don’t get this continuing revelation right; we are not going to do any better than our forbearers who made a god out of the Bible and who have become people of a book. “People of the book” and they are proud of that. They say, “Yes. We’re a people of the book.” Don’t miss this important message. The authority of God’s Word…
“… if we don’t get this right, the tribulation is going to be sittin’ under a tree pickin’ it’s teeth with our bones…”