Summary: Fourth in a series answering charges against Christianity.
Answering Our Culture
#4 – “You Can’t Trust the Bible” (Part 2)
August 18, 2002
There’s a story of a guy on an airplane who was an atheist. He was sitting next to a little girl who was traveling alone, and the little girl brought out a Bible to read during the trip.
The man struck up a conversation with the little girl, and after a while, he asked her about her Bible.
“Do you like reading that Bible?” “Yes, I do,” she replied.
“How do you know it’s true?” “Because it’s God’s Word.”
“Yeah, but take Jonah and the Whale. Do you really believe that?” “Yes, I do.”
“How can you explain how God would make a whale swallow a man like that?”
“I don’t know. I guess I’ll ask Jonah when I get to heaven.”
“What if Jonah’s not in heaven?” “Then you can ask him.”
This message is part 2 of a message I began last week, about how we can trust the Bible.
How can we trust such an ancient document? How can it speak today when it was written so many thousands of years ago?
Can it really be the Word of God?
It is my hope that some of these concerns can be answered somewhat during these messages, particularly today.
Let’s take a moment to review what we covered last week, okay?
The main question we looked at last week regarding this topic of trusting the Bible was, “How do we know the Bible we have today is accurate?”
I’ve included the same outline as last week, with the blanks filled in for what we covered last week.
To help us with the main question, we looked at three other questions: Can we trust the copying process? Who put the Bible together? And, Aren’t the stories of Jesus just legends?
And we looked at the incredible exactness of the process of making all the hand-copied texts of the Old Testament, and the huge amount of Greek manuscripts dating within time periods that would keep errors of any significance from cropping up.
We looked at how our New Testament was put together by men who examined the documents written by apostles and their close associates, and looked to see which of these were universally recognized as being used by God in the lives of the Church.
And we discussed how the Gospels were written well within the time that would not allow legends to be presented as truth, since they were written within the lifetimes of the apostles and the enemies of Christ and His church.
Today we look at a couple other areas: contradictions and problems, and why I trust the Bible.
My intention today is to give you some things to think about, and I invite you to honestly consider what I’m about to tell you in our time together today.
You may not get all your questions answered, so if that’s the case, please contact me and I’d be glad to sit down with you over a cup of coffee or something and talk.
I pray that you will be blessed by what you hear today. Let’s get started, shall we?
I. “Contradictions and Problems.”
One of the things I hear when discussing the Bible is that it is full of contradictions.
Usually when I ask them to show me one, they cannot, because they’re just repeating what they’ve been told regarding the Bible.
So I went in search of some of what people call contradictions and problems.
And I did not go to the Christian books to tell me what these issues were. I went to atheist and agnostic web-sites to see what the current culture is saying about the Bible.
There were a number of issues that would take us the better part of a year to cover, but I found what I think are some of the more common objections and want to discuss three of them right now.
The first one is…
A. Miracles cannot happen.
The issue is that since miracles are not provable, they cannot happen. For instance, since it is physically impossible for the Red Sea to be parted, it did not happen. Or since it is impossible for dead people to rise from the dead, than it did not happen, no matter who claims it did.
There is a presupposition underlying these statements. And that is that nothing can happen except what can be observed by the senses.
In other words, since miracles go against what has been observed in the natural world, miracles cannot exist.
Men like David Hume and Antony Flew are the main proponents of this argument. And to be fair to them, neither of them is so bold as to say that miracles cannot happen. They simply argue against the believability of miracles, saying the amount of evidence is weak, if not non-existent. And they feel that a reasonable and wise man cannot believe in miracles.