- Religion and Philosophy
The Bible - Its Own Best Defense
Have questions? Must reads!
Knowing the heart of God
As one response to my previous post in this group demonstrates, talk of Bible truth and authority brings out those who deny and ridicule respect for the Scriptures. My purpose is not to defend God, the Scriptures or the Christian faith. This for two reasons: God and his ways need no defense. He's perfectly capable of getting the word out: "I'm God and you're not!" Secondly there are several good defenses out there already. My favorites are Frank Morison's Who Moved the Stone? Lee Strobel's, The Case For Christ and The Case for Faith.
As I wrote in a previous Hub I'm not persuaded you have to be a biblical scholar or facile in languages to read the Scriptures with the profit intended by its Author. For instance if you read the Bible to determine whether to favor socialism or captalism you may derive some general helpful principles but you won't come away confident that God has spoken on the issue. Reason? God expects you to exercise wisdom on a vast array of matters. He doesn't micro-manage your every move. Disappointed? If your personal sense of being OK comes from knowing that you are doing exactly what God wants, I suspect you would be. But God is bigger than that. In Luke 10:17-20 seventy-two of his disciples returned from a mission trip ecstatic over how even demons had obeyed them. Jesus responded, "Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."Teaching? Your sense of inner security and joy must never rest on your performance but on your friendship with the Almighty.
The profit God intends you get from Scripture is that you come to know Him more fully. Of course the more you get to know Him, the more clearly you'll understand his desires and the more confident you'll be that your wisdom reflects a godly world and life view. Know God? I Don't mean know about God, but know God! You know God when you rest secure in the knowledge that He fully accepts you because of your attachment to Jesus through faith. The Scriptures often refer to salvation as rest. Hebrews 4 comes to mind.
This business of knowing God is not a one time introduction, but rather a lifetime of friendship marked by paying attention to what pleases him (reading the Bible), thankfully acknowledging your dependence on him (prayer), affirming him (worship) and joining his mission to gather a vast number of folks from every tribe and nation who will reflect his character on our world.
Of course all this needs to be broken down a bit more. But it's good to have the big picture well in hand before you tend to details.
Check out Tim Keller's excellent piece titled "Making Sense of Scripture's 'Inconsistencies'"