11 June 2013

World View Views

Christianity is under attack across the globe. I have written numerous blogs on the topic, the latest of which was in February of this year. Being a faithful follower of Jesus Christ takes work. It’s not easy when there are influences trying to tell us that we’re fools. This is no new phenomenon.

There are many challenges to the authority of God’s Word in our lives. People all around us want us to simply accept that the Bible is inadequate to meet the needs of “modern mankind.” Those who follow Jesus need to have a clear understanding that the Bible is God’s Word to us; written for us. It is the authoritative Word, which cuts across historical eras and provides timeless truth. It cuts across geographical boundaries and gives us universal truth.

Over the next few months, I want to review with whoever will read this blog some of the non- (and anti-) Christian views regarding the Bible. These are some of the shaky frameworks around which some of our friends, neighbors and colleagues are building their lives. Then, we will look at what God’s Word says about itself, for that is where we will find a framework will enable us to be imitators of God; a framework upon which we can build a life pleasing to God.

Romans 1:18-20 reads this way,
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Man has, since the beginning of time, tried to suppress the truth about the world and its Creator. Many of us have probably tried to do the same thing. There are several ways in which men and women in our own time – and across geographic boundaries – try to suppress God’s Truth. There are also a huge number of variations on these themes. The point is for us to realize that a great need exists for us to both practice and teach Bible literacy. Most people simply do not understand what the Bible is about.

The first unbiblical concept about the Bible that I'd like to look at is this: "It was written for a “primitive” audience." We’ve outgrown the Bible, people tell us. We’re modern. We live in a scientific age. The Bible was written for men and women who needed its message of faith and explanation of the workings of the universe. After all, weren’t they what we might call “pre-scientific?” They were primitive. They could not answer all the “why” questions about the world around them. They didn’t quite understand the Sun and the relations of the planets in the solar system. They couldn’t explain natural disasters or seasons, or disease. They didn’t even have cellphones. So, they had to have their superstitious reasons for things that happen in the world around them. They needed to invent God –or a series of gods – who controlled their destinies.

This line of reasoning has been around a long time. And it persists today. In fact, it’s pretty common. You’ve probably heard people tell you that science can answer most of the questions (they didn’t do so well with the Tsunami or Hurricane Katrina). We just don’t need God.

Even those with little understanding of science choose to accept the word of the scientist/priests rather than God’s Word. How does this Christian respond to this?

1.    First, we deal with the word “primitive.” What makes us think that we’re any smarter than our grandfathers? Just because our pool of facts has expanded since the time of Abraham, or the Apostle Paul, or your grandmother does not mean that they did not have the capacity to understand our universe. To assume that we have a greater facility for understanding than our forefathers is to assume the evolutionary theory – which I do not. Moses, Isaiah, Jesus, and the Apostle Peter had no difficulty in accepting God’s Word. Anyone who has ever read the Epistle to the Romans must see there the writings of a highly organized and intellectually developed philosopher and theologian. One writer (CS Lewis) called this idea that we are necessarily wiser than our ancestors, “chronological snobbery.” One who has the capacity to reason knows better than to accept this fallacy.

2.    Next, we look to the answers being provided by science. It would seem that today there are many more questions left unanswered than in generations past. I know why there are terminal diseases. I know how the physical world came into existence. Our leading scientists are not yet ready to offer a definitive answer as to what was the First cause in creation. They may exclaim that everything began with a Big Bang, but are reluctant to discuss anything that came before that – while admitting that something had to precede the Big Bang. At this point, many scientists say that we have entered the realm of theology; but they are unwilling to accept the answers which responsible theology offers.

3.    Understand that I am not saying that having unanswered questions means that one is intellectually incapable. Nor am I saying that science offers nothing positive. I believe that science is a marvelous field of endeavor which uncovers the laws of the universe which God has put in place. But I am stating, without reservation, that modern science in no way renders the answers of the Bible unnecessary, faulty, or mythological.

What do YOU think?

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