Defense of the Bible

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, February 3, 2017 1 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

“A man with an experience of God is never at the mercy of a man with an argument, for an experience of God that costs something is worth something, and does something.” ~Leonard Ravenhill: Why Revival Tarries, pg 117

As I continue my series on the difference between intellectual Christianity and actual Christianity, I have to address apologetics. Let me say this up front: apologetics is an extremely valuable tool. If the Bible is to be considered true, it must be sound logically and it must back up its claims with evidence. There is a great deal of using apologetics to defend the Christian faith as we are commanded to in 1 Peter 3:15. The faith we have in Christ is not meant to be a blind faith. It is meant to be something we can trust and depend upon its truth, even if we do not see the fruit of it at this moment. However, as God has been convicting me about intellectual Christianity, I wonder if many of us are missing the boat as to why we defend our faith.

I will be the first to admit that it is easy for me to get into an intellectual argument about why the Bible is trustworthy. I can go on for hours on the debate if I get distracted. And the problem I have had is that too often I am more concerned about being right and winning a debate than I am about speaking the truth of the Gospel. That is a big reason why I have mostly stepped away from my on-line apologetic “debates” and simply not engaged them the last few months other than on occasion.

Why are we so focused on being right? The primary reason is pride. We don’t like being told we are wrong and we certainly do not like “losing.” Intellectual Christianity argues in defense of Christianity on nothing but an intellectual level. Actual Christianity is not concerned about who wins the debate but it is concerned about truth being revealed and God receiving the glory. The Bible IS right; please do not read what I am not saying. However, it is not our responsibility to make the other person see or agree that we are right. We are responsible for preaching the truth and doing so in humility, love, and a purpose that the other person be reconciled to God. We are not responsible for how anyone receives our message. We need to stop making sure we are seen as being right in the eyes of the other person.

We can have all the arguments in the world, but God is not looking for people who can argue logically in his defense. He will use such people if they are yielded to him, but that is not his primary criteria. His primary criteria is a yielded and obedient heart. The greatest argument we can have is our testimony. Yes, Paul did reason with the Jews in the synagogues and with the people in the markets. However, John tells us that our testimony is one of the weapons we use to overcome the dragon, not a logical defense of the Word. The woman at the well brought her whole town to Christ because of her story. The demoniac prepared ten villages to receive him and when Jesus returned, he ended up feeding 5000 men. Now I am not saying discard all arguments and just use our testimony, but what better evidence of God’s work than a changed life?

Something else to consider: our defense of the Bible has a tendency of appearing like God needs us to defend him. He is looking for men and women who will fight his battles, but ever notice how God tends to put us in battles we cannot win in our own strength and intellect? What we miss is that the Bible is no ordinary book; it is living and active. Charles Spurgeon said, “Defend the Bible? I would as soon defend a lion.” Let that sink in. As defenders of the faith, we do not merely stand in front of an ideology or philosophy we want to hold. We stand beside a King and a Warrior who can defend himself far better than we ever could. We don’t need to defend the Bible; we just need to turn it loose.

One of the ten reasons I cite for the Bible’s trustworthiness is how the Bible has withstood attack after attack and remained unfazed by anything over the last 2000 years. The message we carry is not mere words. They have power. Paul told the Thessalonians that his message was not simply mere words but also carried power. He told the Corinthians that he did not come with eloquence of speech or fancy words but a demonstration of power of the Holy Spirit. Our problem is that when we just rely on intellectual arguments, they tend to result in just eloquence of speech and dead words.

When we defend the Bible, we need to stop doing so in our own strength and in our own power. God can defend himself, and if someone is not convinced that he is who he said is, God is not going to panic as though his plans depend upon that moment. God can handle an unbeliever… or 5 billion of them. He is not obligated to prove to anyone he exists because they are already without any excuse. Neither are you obligated to prove to anyone that the Bible is true. These “doubters” often do not believe because they do not WANT to believe, and they are very obvious when that is the case despite any claim to have “thoroughly investigated” the situation. Here is a statement you can use from Adrian Rogers when he dealt with a skeptic who did not believe in God. He challenged this person (a NASA scientist) if he was an honest skeptic who wanted to know the truth, or a dishonest skeptic who did not care about the truth. He asked this scientist if he would sign the following statement:
“God, I don't know whether you exist or not. I don't know if the Bible is your word or not. I don't know if Jesus Christ is your Son or not. I don't know. But I want to know. And because I want to know, I will make an honest investigation. And because it is an honest investigation, I will follow the results of that investigation wherever they lead me, regardless of the cost.” ~Adrian Rogers: “No Other Way to Heaven Other Than Christ Jesus (32:58-33:52).

The scientist said he wanted to be an honest skeptic who did not know the truth but wanted to know, rather than a dishonest skeptic who has no regard for the truth and wants to believe what he wants to believe anyway. Rogers challenged this particular skeptic to read the Gospel of John with that mindset. He soon became a Christian, began leading Bible studies, and thanked Rogers for dealing with a former general in the devil’s army.

Are you skeptical of the Bible’s claims? Are you an honest one, or a dishonest one? I can tell very quickly which ones are honest and which ones are not. I can also tell very quickly which ones have actually investigated it or not. I can say this: I have yet to hear of a single person who was an honest skeptic, sought the truth, and followed it as that statement above says, and still found the Bible to be false. I never will hear of such a person because the God I know and worship never turns down an honest seeker; and such a person cannot be an honest seeker, unless God is drawing him to seek him. You want to know the real secret to apologetics and how to defend the faith? Believe the Bible. Not intellectually, but actually believe it. You will have access to the mind of Christ and if you tap into that, you can run circles around armies of unbelievers no matter what their education level is. Believe the record. Stand on it. And live as though it is true. Then you will see the Bible defend itself in and through you, because its Author will not let his name be blasphemed nor mocked. If God said he will do it, he will do it. But the only ones of us who can lay claim to hold God accountable to his promises are the ones who have fully surrendered to him. Anyone else is being presumptuous.

Next week, I will wrap up this short series by addressing the difference between legalism and obedience.

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Charlie said...

This is for Ashley. I saw your comments and I will not allow you to use the Worldview Warrior Blog comment section to battle over things said on other groups and pages. This is not the place for that. We have told you time and time again why your comments were not posted. If you have something to say about what I have directly written here and you follow the guidelines we have clearly laid out for you, I will reconsider. But this page is not your playground to battle over whatever you want to battle over. I am not going to defend what I said on other pages here, not because I cannot, but because that is not what this place is for. We have guidelines here and we expect you to follow them while here.