Summary: Third in a series on answering the objections people raise against Christianity.
Answering Our Culture
#3 – “You Can’t Trust the Bible
August 4, 2002
Before we get started, I just want to warn you that we will not get all the way through our outline today.
I printed out the outline, hopeful that I would be able to cover everything today, but to do that we would have to skip lunch, and that’s just not an option, know what I mean?
So we will pick it up in two weeks after I return from Chicago.
I also need to tell you that this particular message will not be the one you should use to impress your friends regarding my dazzling ability to preach.
I will be bringing out a lot of historical fact regarding the historical reliability of the Bible, and while the information will be valuable, this is not one that will keep you awake late at night, okay? Let’s get started.
Charles Templeton was a young journalist on the sports staff of the Toronto Globe when he came to a point in his life when he was tired of the lifestyle he was leading.
One night after attending a strip club, he felt the need for forgiveness, and kneeling by his bed, prayed for God to cleanse his soul, turning his life over to Jesus Christ.
Years later, he teamed up with a young Billy Graham to preach at Youth for Christ rallies around Europe, and later founded a church that regularly saw over 1200 per week.
He was cruising along in ministry.
Until he started to consider some of the doubts that had been gnawing inside him for years.
And one day, he saw a cover of Life magazine showing an African mother holding her baby, dead because of the famine that devastated her country.
That did it. He left the ministry, and became an agnostic, someone who does not necessarily deny that God exists, like the atheist, but rather someone who simply feels that one cannot truly know if God exists.
He is still alive today, and has written books about his agnosticism.
So the question comes? How can we know if there is a God? That’s a good question, and my basic answer is that we can know because the Bible says so.
But how can we know the Bible is true? Can we really trust a book that’s thousands of years old and translated thousands of times?
I hope to be able to answer those questions, and some others as well as we move along this morning.
There is no question that I believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and that it can be trusted completely. I don’t apologize for that view, and you need to know that that’s my perspective as I discuss these things.
But let me make a bit of a disclaimer here. I don’t promise to have all the answers, and I don’t promise that you will be satisfied with all the aspects of the questions I talk about today. After all, satisfaction is in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it?
But I do promise to do my best, and to be available for any questions you might have concerning this very important topic.
With all that, let me ask that you would be open-minded enough to honestly consider the validity of what I will share today.
If I do not answer your questions today, or you would like me to answer them more fully, please contact me through the contact information on the front of the CD, or just go to aberdeenwesleyan.org and click on the e-mail link to me.
Also, if you don’t have a Bible that is in easy-to-read English, please let me know. I would love to give you a Bible free of charge for you to keep.
Before we go any further, I want to read two passages of Scripture that I want you to keep in mind during our time.
The first is from the Old Testament.
ISA 40:8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever."
The next is from the New Testament, where Jesus says in Matthew 24:35 –
35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
Let’s get started, shall we? The first question is really the root of much of the discussion around the trustworthiness of the Bible, and that is…
I. How do we know the Bible we have today is accurate?
In the evangelical Christian world, we use the term “inerrant” to describe the Scriptures as God delivered them. We believe that when the Scriptures were originally penned by all those people, they were totally and completely without error.
That is not to say that small errors have not crept in the various copies over time, but the message has stayed the same over the centuries.