Can we really trust the Bible? Figuring out what to think and believe about the Bible is one of the most controversial topics in Christianity today. The Emerging Church movement is raising some good questions. Camps are forming, and people are finding new ways to interpret and in some cases explain away the Bible.
What’s a Christian pilgrim to do? In a time when many people are looking at the Bible with a questioning eye, I am struck by what I recently learned about Billy Graham, the world’s most famous evangelist.
Graham wrestled with the authority of the Bible as a young Christian in the 1940s. During his time at Wheaton College, Graham decided to take the Bible as the infallible word of God. Henrietta Mears of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood was instrumental in helping Graham wrestle with the issue. Graham settled on the Bible authority and infallibility at Forest Home Christian camp in Southern California. A simple memorial there still marks the site of Graham’s decision to put his complete trust in God and the Bible.
Once the authority of the Bible was settled in his mind, Graham went about learning it and preaching it around the globe. Graham’s decision to trust the Bible may be one of the main things that let to his success in sharing the Gospel to so many people.
I certainly applaud the effort to discover the historical Jesus and to understand Scriptures based on historical context. But I also understand that intellect and reason can be the enemy of the Spirit. There is a way that seems right to a man, but it leads to death. 1 Corinthians 1-2 makes it clear that spiritual revelation comes owes nothing to human wisdom. God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.
If Satan could be deceived by his own intellect and pride, why do we think that we are any different? Satan saw the full glory of God, and yet he lost perspective.
God’s wisdom is a mystery. It is hidden to those who cannot see. 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 explains the importance of the Spirit in discovering truth. It says, “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged by no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
I have decided to trust the Bible as the Spirit makes it comes alive to me. Learning about historical context is important, however, the key to the Scriptures is letting it study us. More than a book to be learned and applied. It is a living book that is meant to study us and lead us to God’s best.
Who do you trust? We all put faith in somebody or something.