Over the years I have come across Christians who believe that it doesn’t matter whether we know anything about the Bible and defending it. Just have faith some would say. But, faith in what? If we are claiming to be followers of Christ how are we going to follow someone or something we don’t know anything about? And if someone attacks the very thing we are following shouldn’t we be able to defend it?
In debates with atheists I have discovered the importance of knowing what the Bible really teaches. I often hear things like: The Bible is a myth and not historically accurate, or the Old and New Testaments have nothing to do with each other and they don’t even talk about the same god, or the Bible can’t be accurate because it was written by men centuries after the events. None of that is true and we can easily prove it, but how can we counter and share the truth if we don’t know it?
In addition, people have legitimate questions about Scripture as I did prior to my studies, as Christians it is our responsibility to have answers.
Jesus directs us as His followers to go out and share the Gospel with the world (The Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20). Peter, one of Jesus’ closest friends, tells us that we should always be able to give an answer to those who ask about our faith (1 Peter 3:15). In order to do that we need to know what the Bible really teaches and what Gospel is.
We need to have confidence that what we believe is true, and that it is worth defending.
Watch the One Minute Apologist explain the importance of studying the Bible:
Does God give us reasons to study the Bible?
Here are a few…
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. -Deuteronomy 6:5-7
Jesus makes this same statement in Matthew 22:36-40, it is known as the Great Commandment.
Solomon teaches us this principle in the Proverbs:
My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. -Proverbs 7:1-3
Paul and Peter both teach us the importance of knowing Scripture:
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. -2 Timothy 2:15
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. -2 Timothy 3:16
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. -2 Peter 1:20-21
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you. -1 Peter 1:22-25
Paul also teaches about the importance of putting on the Full Armor of God, and this includes the only offensive (vs. defensive) portion of this passage that describes the Word of God as a “sword:”
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes form the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. -Ephesians 6:12-18
Is there an epidemic of Biblical Illiteracy in our culture today?
Watching an episode of “Cash Cab” on TV a few years ago I observed two young adults in their twenties answering difficult questions as they rode along in the Cab, attempting to win the grand-prize. They were well on their way when the host of the show asked this: “Name one of the Gospels in the New Testament?” The two contestants looked at each other in bewilderment, asking for a shout out (meaning they could pull over and ask someone on the street) a young man on the sidewalk stopped and thought for a few minutes and then said “you could try John?” His uncertainty along with theirs made my heart sink. They won the contest, but only on a guess.
Michael Jr. Quizzes some young people on Biblical knowledge, would you know the answers?
Of Americans polled nationwide beliefs about the Bible seem to be as follows:
|Barna Research Group Poll Questions||Age response|
|1. Sacredness of the Bible: % of people who believe that the Bible is a holy book.||45+ = 90%
26–44 = 81%
18–25 = 67%
|2. Biblical accuracy: % of people who believe that the Bible is accurate on all accounts.||65+ = 58%
45-63 = 46%
26-44 = 39%
18-25 = 35%
|3. Universalism of the Bible: % of people who believe that the Bible teaches the same spiritual truths as other (so-called) holy books.||65+ = 33%
26-63 = 40%
18-25 = 56%
|4. Bible appetite: % of people who say they have the desire to gain Bible knowledge.
|65+ = 9%
45-63 = 12%
18-44 = 19%
Watch this one minute clip by Lee Strobel on what he believes prevents people from reading the Bible:
Join us next week as we continue building our case for Christianity!
You will not find this material in the public school curriculum even though it is based on solid evidence and grounded in research. It is ironic that following the evidence to where it leads stops at the door of our public schools as they will not let a “Divine footprint” in! Join us as we examine evidence for Christianity and learn how to become a thoughtful defender and ambassador of your faith.
Click into the resource page of this website to view many of the top Christian thinkers and apologists along with some of their work; connecting to these types of resources is essential in your Christian growth.
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