The Importance of Trusting the Bible
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In this short talk, Bill challenges the reader to think through the issues of trusting the paper, and why doing the hard work of investigating the issues is so important.
Course: Why I Trust My Bible
Where all of this is going is the simple question of whether we trust the Bible. I’ve been trying to give you enough background so you can deal with the questions that come up. This is one of the fundamental questions that you will answer in your life, and again it’s so easy in evangelicalism to say you trust the Bible, but not take it seriously. I watched this for 10 years when I taught in university. Students would say, “Oh sure I trust the Bible,” and the next year they would come in and ask, “Is it okay if I sleep with my girlfriend?” I would say, “Isn’t the Bible pretty clear on that?” “Well, yes, but it’s just the Bible.” “Oh so you don’t really believe the Bible’s from God.” “I guess not that part.”
Those are conversations I had in a Christian University year after year. You cannot make a snap answer about trusting your Bible; it is a decision that you will continually remake as you go through the experiences of life. We had two children die at birth. Robin and I had to ask the question again, “Do we really believe a Bible that says that God is all good all the time? Then why did my two daughters die?” This is not a question to be rushed through; it’s not a question you can answer once when you’re ten and that’s it for life. But trusting your Bible is fundamental to your Christian walk.
As a preacher, this is something I have to deal with. The reason I preach the Bible is that I believe it’s true and I trust it. When I hear preachers preach something other than the Bible, my question is, “I wonder if they really believe the Bible or not.” If you really believe the Bible is true, why are you mixing your ideas with God’s ideas? Doesn’t make any sense to me.
So no matter who we are or where we are in life, this the question of trusting Scripture is going to be a process and a fundamental question of life. Did the biblical writers get it right when Jesus says that the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many? Do you really believe that? Do you believe the essence of Christian discipleship, just like the essence of Jesus’s life, is to be a servant? Do the writings accurately portray what Jesus and the others taught, or did the church make up stuff? Do you trust it? Are you willing to bet your life on it?
I talk to some people about Christianity and they say, “Well, I’ll think about it later.” And I’ll say, “Are you willing to bet your life on that—that you’ll be around later?” “Well, I just think that all roads lead to God.” “Well that’s interesting. Are you willing to bet your eternal life on that? Because you are. That’s exactly what you’re doing.”
Is the Bible your authority? Especially for our children, this is something in our family we work on; I’m sure in your families you do as well. Kids have to make their own decisions. And all of us who were at one time kids understand that. Having taught for ten years in the university I watch people, kids (18, 19 year olds) say, “My mommy and daddy believe the Bible, but I have to believe it myself, don’t I?” This was one of the most common sentiments I noticed in a Christian school; mom and dad believe it, but I’m not sure that I do. So these are fundamental questions that each one of us has to make for ourselves.