How to Be Open-Minded; And How Not to Be


daily text logoSeptember 12, 2014

Acts 17:10-12 (in context)

As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.


Yesterday, Paul and Silas, made progress in Thessalonica only to be run out of town by those who were jealous of their success. We pick up today with their midnight ride to Berea.

I like the way Luke refuses to scapegoat the Jews. He analyzes the situation not from a posture of pre-judgment, nor from an impulse to react with rejection in response to their rejection. He is not making judgments based on their ultimate response to the Gospel.

Luke seems ok with rejection as long as the Gospel gets a fair hearing. That’s what the Berean Jews are doing. They received the message, which is not to say they accepted it without thought. No, they tested it by the Scriptures to ascertain the truth of what Paul was proclaiming.

We live in an age that both misunderstands and places far too much value on being “open-minded.” To be “open-minded” can be a good thing, but open-mindedness is only virtuous to the extent it is accompanied by rigorous discernment.

Luke characterizes this approach of the Berean Jews– A posture of eager openness to the message yet a discipline of ruthlessly testing its veracity by Scripture–  as a mark of noble character.

That sounds about right.


Personal Update — Tiffani will have surgery today at some point (hopefully earlier rather than later). We appreciate your ongoing prayers for a successful surgery and a complete recovery.

J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at

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  1. JD and Tiffany, I learned at Sunday School today about Tiffany’s accident. I was heartbroken, but I was also praising the Lord that the consequences of the fall did not result in something permanent. Tiffany, Wes and I will join the host of others praying for you, for his peace, his healing, and complete restoration. May our loving Father also watch over your precious family and work everything for good in ways we can not even imagine.
    With our love and prayers,
    Wes and June