Why should I believe the Bible? (pt 4)

“Why should I believe the Bible?” Well, one reason I believe the Bible is because I find it very… 

Compelling 

The Bible presents a very viable explanation of the world around us. It gives us a worldview that makes sense of reality. It adequately addresses and answers the most fundamental questions of life. Questions like: How did we get here? Is the world chaotic or ordered? What is a human being? Do humans have intrinsic worth? Why do we have a sense of morality? Is there truly morality; right and wrong, good and evil? What happens after we die? Why is it possible to know anything at all? What is the purpose of life? Why is the world so messed up? And is there any hope?

The Bible is honest. It is honest about the people within it’s pages (descriptive but not always prescribed) and it’s honest about the state we find ourselves in. As Blaise Pascal, the mathematician and philosopher, pointed out, the Bible alone explains the wretchedness and yet glory of humanity.[1] 

The Bible gives us glasses by which to see the world. Or, to use a different metaphor, the Bible is a flashlight to light the path of life (Ps. 119:105). So, the Bible is not only what we read, but what we read with. We use its pages as glasses to view and read the world and the knowledge God has distributed throughout it.[2] So, the Bible is compelling, in part, because it explains various things about the world around us (e.g. how we got here, what’s wrong with the world) and what we are supposed to do in the world. 

The Bible has also transformed many people for the better and has had a positive impact on numerous cultures.[3] The Bible says human life is sacred and so Christians have, for example, been opposed to Sati and infanticide. The Bible elevates sexual morality. So, for instance, homosexual pedophilic practice, though common in Rome, was opposed by the early Christian community. The Bible also tells men to respect women and to love, treasure, and be faithful to their wives (see Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:5-6; 1 Cor. 7:3; Eph. 5:215-33; 1 Pet. 3:7). 

The Bible promotes and even demands acts of compassion and so Christianity has left a very compassionate stamp upon numerous societies; you can see that stamp by looking at many organizations (like the YMCA and the Salvation Army), hospitals,[4] and orphanages. Christians have always been known as “people of the book” and so Christians have promoted literacy and education.[5]

We will look at science in a future post and see how the worldview that the Bible relays led to the scientific method. So, it’s no wonder that we could list out many famous and influential scientists who were Christians (e.g. Roger Bacon, William of Occam, Blaise Pascal, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur). We could also look at many forms of music, art, and architecture that were shaped by the Bible and Christianity. 

I’ll conclude with C.S. Lewis words:

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” 

____________________

[1] “For it teaches the righteous, whom it exalts, even to participation in divinity itself, that in this sublime state they still bear the source of corruption, which exposes them throughout their lives to error, misery, death and sin; and it cries out to the most ungodly that they are capable of the grace of their redeemer. Thus, making those whom it justifies tremble and consoling those whom it condemns, it so nicely tempers fear with hope through dual capacity, common to all men, for grace and sin, that it causes infinitely more dejection than mere reason, but without despair, and infinitely more exaltation than natural pride, but without puffing us up. This clearly shows that, being alone exempt from error and vice, it is the only religion entitled to reach and correct mankind”(Blaise Pascal, Pensees, 68).

[2] John Calvin used the illustration of spectacles to explain this (See Calvin’s Institutes 1.6.1.). 

[3] See Alvin J. Schmidt, How Christianity Changed the World and Rodney Starak, How the West Won and for those that have questions about some of the more difficult teachings of the Old Testament see Paul Copan, Is God a Moral Monster?.

[4] Historian Philip Schaff has said “the old Roman world was a world without charity” (Schaff , History of the Christian Church, 2:373 as quoted in Schmidt, How Christianity Changed the World, 167. But thankfully Christianity left its mark. And so the physician and medical historian Fielding Garrison has said, “The chief glory of medieval medicine was undoubtedly in the organization of hospitals and sick nursing, which its organization in the teachings of Christ” (Garrison, Introduction to the History of Medicine, 118 as quoted in Schmidt, How Christianity Changed the World, 166).

[5] It’s interesting to contrast the NT writings with other writings of the period. See Larry Hurtado, Destroyer of the Gods: Early Christian Distinctive in Roman World.

Tags: , , , , , ,

About Paul O'Brien

I am a lot of things; saint and sinner. I struggle and I strive. I am a husband and father of three. I have been in pastoral ministry for 9 years. I went to school at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary but most of my schooling has been at the School of Hard Knocks. I have worked various jobs, including pheasant farmer, toilet maker, construction worker, and I served in the military. My wife and I enjoy reading at coffee shops, taking walks, hanging out with friends and family, and watching our three kid's antics. :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: