Relevancy is important. It has to do with making sure we are spending our time, attention and energy with something worthwhile. When discussing the relevancy of the Bible, it would question whether or not the Bible has any bearing upon our lives today. Some people would say that it does not. While acknowledging its historical and religious significance, the prominent opinion seems to be that the Bible is an outdated book. It may have served a purpose for previous generations, but times have changed. Some question how a book as old as the Bible can have any serious application to our lives today.
Is the Bible relevant? Does this ancient book have any practical application to our lives today? Does it satisfy our needs as individuals and as a society? Or do we need something else? I believe a consideration of the following points will help to answer these questions and prove that the Bible is relevant today. Continue reading » The Bible Is Relevant
It seems that our society is always changing for the worse. Immorality is shamelessly promoted and defended by celebrities, educators, and politicians. The law of our nation will allow a mother to kill her unborn baby, but will incarcerate a man for mistreating his pet. We have seen great changes in our nation as a result of the pro-homosexual agenda. What was once considered an abomination, detested and rejected by our society, has become embraced and championed. Laws have been changed, marriage has been re-defined, entire denominations have become split over this issue – and it is only getting worse.
The religious landscape of our nation is also changing. Basic truths of Christianity are constantly challenged and denied by so-called Christians. This change has had an impact upon some of our brethren. In recent years we have heard brethren make arguments for a figurative interpretation of the creation account in Genesis, question the inspiration of 2 Peter and Jude, and deny the eternal nature of Hell.
All this change going on in the world is enough to make one’s head swim. However, we must remember that we are not the first ones to have lived in a time of great moral decline. Things generally happen in cycles (consider the book of Judges), which should indicate to us that we are not living in the “worst of times.” Continue reading » Timeless Truths in an Ever-Changing World
The Bible (Greek; biblia) is a collection of sixty-six books of divine inspiration. The Bible is a timeless masterpiece that has been printed in 2,454 different languages. Skeptics, humanists and modernists dismiss the Bible’s contents as contributing to a “God intoxicated society” that “shackles the mind and enslaves the spirit.” The Bible; however, reveals a reward of eternal existence where no pain, hunger, or sorrows will be experienced (see Revelation 21:1-7). Let us examine the origins of this inspirational work so that you may conclude that it is indeed a authentic book. Continue reading » The Bible
Is the Bible the inspired word of God? I certainly believe that it is. But, it is not going to be possible for me to prove that is the case in this short video. Not only is it necessary to provide affirmative arguments contending that the Bible is indeed inspired, it is also necessary to answer myriad objections, both philosophical, critical and even facetious. This we can not do in a matter of minutes.
However, there are certain observations that we can make to spur you on to further study and consideration. First, you should know that the Bible claims inspiration for itself. For example, Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3, verse 16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” The word “inspiration” in this text comes from the greek term “theo-pneustos”. “Theo” means God, and “pneustos” has reference to breathing. Our English words pneumatic and pneumonia, having to do with breathing or air, come from this term. So, the word inspiration means “God-breathed.” Paul is confirming that all scripture is “God breathed”. Ultimately, God is the author rather than man.
Paul’s letters to the church at Thessalonica were written in the midst of great concern among the brethren regarding death, the coming of Christ and the hope of those in Christ. When we read 1 Thessalonians 4, it is evident that some among their number had died while awaiting the promised hope at the Lord’s coming. Some wondered if the death of those saints separated them from that hope in Christ. No doubt, the thought of faithful brethren having been robbed of their hope by untimely death was discouraging and depressing to the saints.
When viewed in terms of the present reality of their severe persecution, the obvious concern existed as to the ability of evil men to take away their hope by killing them (1 Thessalonians 1:6). After all, martyrdom was a present fact in the first century (Acts 7:59-60; 12:1-2; et. al.). In the midst of affliction, the saints in Thessalonica needed strength and comfort to help them live with joy and hope. Where could they find the real, lasting and substantive encouragement they needed? What could be the source for such?
The obligation to correct a brother who is entangled in sin is clearly revealed in scripture. In Galatians 6:1-2, Paul wrote, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
This call to correct or restore the one caught in sin is in fulfillment of our responsibilities under Christ’s law. This law can be encapsulated in the command to love. If I truly love my brother, when I see his soul in jeopardy I will seek to warn and correct him.
James revealed the value of such correction while instructing brethren in this responsibility. He wrote, “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20). Surely all agree that “save (-ing) a soul from death and cover (-ing) a multitude of sins” is a laudable and important work. Continue reading » Editorial: The Bible and Academia
On different occasions, while talking with one of the Pentecostal or Assemblies of God persuasion, the subject of the Holy Spirit will be discussed. Since one of our disagreements lies in the area of the miraculous action of the Holy Spirit, when we deny that miracles occur today, the response is often a surprised, “Then you don’t believe that the Holy Spirit leads you today, do you?” His confusion is often compounded when my response is, “Of course I believe in being led by the Holy Spirit.” Brethren, that is not sophistry. We certainly should believe that we are led by the Holy Spirit of God in our lives. Continue reading » Associate Editorial: Are We Led by the Holy Spirit?
An example of this is the Jesus Seminar; a group of liberal, modernistic theologians who, in effect, sit around a table and vote on what words and actions of our Lord, recorded in the gospels, are actually genuine. Predictably, they deny the veracity of recorded miracles, as well as any judgmental language, seeing fit only to accept the gentle and loving side of Jesus nature. In doing so, they seek to remake Jesus in their own image, and do violence to the historical Jesus revealed in the inspired Word. Continue reading » Editorial: The Bible
(Author’s Note: The material below was initially written in a casual, almost haphazard fashion in response to a request from a brother in Christ. I have “doctored” it up a little, but it retains the flow of a “typing out loud” article. Now, I have been asked to submit it as part of a special study in this issue of Watchman. Fearing that it will lack the polish of other articles in this issue, I make this little apology with a not so subtle appeal for sympathy for its shortcomings.)
I am afraid I am not much help here, but let me venture a few remarks for your study and reflection. The assigned title (purposely so submitted, I imagine), needs work. Someone must convince me that natural revelation is a revelation of God’s “will.” That it manifests his glory, greatness, grandeur, and Godhood, I doubt not, but does it make known his will? “I trow not.”
One must “search the Scriptures daily,” “proving and explaining” from the text in order to learn the “will of God” (Acts 17:2, 3; 11, 12; 28:23,24; Eph. 3:4; 2 Tim. 2:15; Titus 1:9–“as he hath been taught;” Cf. Jn. 6:44, 45; 2 Tim. 2:2; 3:14). However, the heavens themselves, by their very existence, declare the glory and handiwork of God, his eternal power and Godhead. As Whiteside observed, one may learn from nature that there is a sublime, supreme being of eternal power and Deity, but one cannot tell if he exists in a million persons or if he hates or loves or even cares about man. Such knowledge can only come from what is termed, “special revelation.” I call it, “the Bible.” Continue reading » The Word and the World: Equal Revelations of God’s Will?
Those who claim that the Bible is merely the work of human beings, without God’s guidance or inspiration, will also speak of the evolution of the writers’ concept of God. They claim that the earlier writers had a primitive idea of who God is, whereas the later writers had a more sophisticated notion. Indeed, this is what we would expect from a collection of books written over a span of some 1500 years. But, is it really the case? Did the picture of God change from Genesis to Revelation, or is it truly the same God described throughout? The way to answer this is to look at some specific aspects of God’s character, and see whether the early writers had a different notion of God than the later ones did. For reasons of space, we cannot look at all of the different characteristics of God in this issue. However, we can take a good look at two of them. Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: Many Books, One God
I am not reporting any news when I write that atheists do not believe the Bible. Atheists, of course, consider themselves too intelligent and sophisticated to believe in God. If you have read this feature before, you know that Evidences is dedicated to providing examples of the hard evidence God has provided for us to analyze with our rational minds, and conclude that He is, and that He inspired the writers of scripture. So, if it is reasonable to believe in God and the Bible, on what grounds do the atheists assert the opposite? For one thing, they claim that the Bible is riddled with contradictions. Of course, if this is so, then there is reason to doubt its inspiration. Therefore, let us ask the question, “Does the Bible contradict itself?”
In order to answer this question, we will let the atheists have a crack at showing some contradictions. The following passages are cited on an “American Atheist” website as an example of a biblical contradiction: