Tuesday, October 18, 2011

God's Word.

Christians are called “the people of the book” by Islam’s founder, Mohammed.  Why would he make that observation?  Simply put good Christians were students of God’s word first and foremost, even in his day.  The psalmist observed about the godly person that “his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (Psalm 1:2)  That is because the child of God takes it as a given that the Bible is God’s inspired word and only though meditating on it’s message can he or she draw close to God and learn how to please him as our father.

But how can I say that?  After all, experts say it is the product of men, a product of the church and “God’ has nothing to do with it.  Believe it or not I consider that a legitimate question, one which everyone who is called by the name “Christian” needs to be sure of for himself.  Thomas Jefferson wrote "Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear."  Many consider those words blasphemous, but not I.  Contrary to what the nominal churches teach I believe, through my study of God, that he wants us to prove for ourselves what sort of God he really is.  He wants us to come to him out of appreciation for his good qualities rather than abject fear of the possible horrific consequences if we don’t.  We are told that “God is love” (1 john 4:8).  If that is true wouldn’t it stand to reason that he would want us to prove things for ourselves, much as Jefferson suggested?  I think so.

First let me state for the record that I consider the existence of a creator of this universe and all things in it self evident.  From the tiniest particle known to man to the far reaches we can view through the most powerful of telescopes creation is remarkably ordered, showing evidence of design, not chance.  In recent years stories of astronomers and molecular biologists, nurtured on the philosophy of materialism, have come forward to tell of inexorably coming to the conclusion after studying nature for many years that there is a creator.  My own humble studies of chemistry and anatomy & physiology in college while I sought my own Bachelor’s degree in one of the social sciences reaffirmed for me as well that there is a creator.

So why do I believe the Bible to be the message of a creator to us, his creation?  The answer is easy; compare it with any or all other religious texts.

As a book it is more thoroughly attested to than any other book from ancient times.  Where other ancient texts are represented by a handful of copies and fragments, the Bible is represented by literally thousands of copies and fragments, some to within a few years of the penning of the original texts.  Because of that abundance of copies we can be assured of the accuracy of the text in a manner no other text comes close to.  Because of that abundance we can identify mistakes in copying and deliberate attempts to corrupt the text and eliminate them.  Again, the same can’t be said of any other book from antiquity.  Do not those facts alone constitute proof that the Bible is God’s word and that he took great pains to make sure that we have it in precisely the form he wanted us to have it?  I think so despite attempts for the last century to hold otherwise.  But we will cover some of those specifics in future posts as appropriate.

 Look at the very first chapters of the Bible in the book of Genesis.  As a young man I was an avid collector of rocks, minerals, and fossils.  When I finally got around to reading the creation account in Genesis my jaw dropped.  The order of creation, as listed in the Bible, was remarkably close to what I knew as a collector of fossils the order of life to be.  Sure, the match up wasn’t exact, but it was close enough for me to be amazed.  Check it out.  Set aside the business about “six” days and look at the order of the preparation of the earth for life, and then its population with life and see for yourself if it isn’t remarkable.  I’ve since checked and know that the fossil deposits in the Sinai Peninsula is not a complete enough record for even a man as brilliant as Moses was said to be to extrapolate it with anywhere near the accuracy of the creation account.  And recent fossil discoveries seem to hold more closely to the order of Genesis than before.  The only rational explanation for such accuracy is that it was revealed to the writer by the creator in some way.

There is much more, however, I do want to keep this column short enough to be an easy read.  In short, I believe I’ve briefly given the seeker after truth enough to see that the Bible is the word of the universe’s creator to mankind, to us.  Being such I think we can take it as a given that the Bible, then, is something which can be used as a standard upon which we can proceed for knowledge and guidance.

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