1998-07-15 - Is the Bible True?
2 Peter 2:20, 21 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
"I was wondering if you had any devotionals or teachings on proving the Bible is true. My husband is always challenging me on proving to him the Bible is true. To be honest I get frustrated because I believe by faith and he wants facts. Is there anything you can send me?"
Every High School year book has a favorite quote section, or at least mine did. The best one I have seen is this: "I think therefore I am, I think." And this quote begs the real question, "What is real, and how do I know?" It is one of those ultimate questions we all have to deal with. How can I know the Bible is true is the same question as how can I know Jesus existed, or was who He said He was … And there are no easy answers.
One approach, I will call it the Josh McDowell approach, is to pile up evidence about how many documents there are that witness to the authenticity of the Bible and prove it is accurate. This is very compelling because the documents that support the Bible are more substantial than any other book from antiquity that we always take for granted. If you doubt this just read McDowell's books Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Vols. 1,2. I don't know how we could counter the evidence he has compiled in those volumes. In fact his goal, when he set out, was to prove the Bible and the Christian faith were false. He wound up bending the knee to Christ.
But now to your question, "I believe by faith and he wants facts". You can compile all the facts in the world and someone might not believe it. The flaw with the Josh McDowell approach is that it begs the question, after all the facts are given, "Got any more facts?" or "And...?". There is a faith element to believing what the Bible teaches and says about itself and life. Quite simply we come to Christ in faith and from then on, we live by faith. Faith is crucial to our Christian, well..., faith. "We know in part, we speak in part." 1 Corinthians 13:9.
The approach to such a question I find most effective is this. I say (first), "Reason with me for a while … lets take your side." What if the Bible is not factual? What if it is not true? Then I would ask, what is the point of your existence? Why live? It would seem to me that if there was no eternity, there is no reason to continue to struggle on with this life. If, in the end, there is nothing at the end of this life, then life itself is meaningless. There is no reason to live, and also no reason to die, nothing matters, in the end we are just waiting for a large enough comet to destroy us all and that will happen, like everything else, by chance.
Then I would say, "Again, reason with me for a while...what if the Bible is true? What if God exists?" If God exists, then He is God, He is the Creator, and all of this (everything created) is His idea. Forgetting the fact that something can not come from nothing, where did we come from? Even scientists acknowledge the big bang makes no sense. How did we become so advanced? How come all the 'stuffings' inside us work so well? Evolution? … Give us all a break!! Seems like someone designed us with wisdom. And if God exists, would He hide Himself from His creation? Doubtful. The Bible and its contents acknowledge that God is revealing Himself to us. But still, all of this is believed by faith.
I think most folks are convinced by the logic of the evidence that supports the Bible is an accurate historical document (the Josh McDowell approach). It doesn't quite do it for me, but it is somewhat compelling. I know one thing, if you turn an ash tray upside-down it says, "Made in Taiwan" and if you turn any created thing (like a tree, or me) upside-down it says, "Made by God". Existence, the Bible, Life, Conscience, Regret, Love, or whatever make no sense without God. And God existing without revealing Himself equally makes no sense. And yet, it is all believed by faith.
Lastly, may I say, I think it takes more faith not to believe than to believe. Not to believe takes a lot of faith, but either way you have faith. One either trusts that the Bible is true, or that it is false, both are done by faith. The logic for me is a no brainer, The Bible seems consistent in itself, it seems to be something that no human or humans could have come up with for millions of reasons. One being that it still leaves questions. If I had written it I would have tied up all the loose ends, the Bible does nothing of the sort and the more I study it the more I am convinced that all Scripture is God-Breathed (1 Timothy 3:16).
Don't ever let these devotionals take the place of studying the Word of God.
Soli Deo Gloria,