Believe The Bible

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How Can a Book Written by Men Be Gods Word?


Christians believe the Bible is inspired. But, what does that mean? We sometimes refer to a piece of art or a work of literature as inspired if we think its particularly creative or insightful. But, when we say the Bible is inspired, were not simply suggesting its a really good book. Were referring to the fact that it contains Gods own words.

For some that may conjure up the image of God dictating the contents of the Bible the way an executive might dictate a letter, with the biblical authors writing down everything God says. But, thats not an adequate image. There certainly were times when the authors wrote down exactly what they heard God say. But, the individual personalities of the biblical authors themselves also come through in their writing. The different books, for example, reflect differences in style and vocabulary that one wouldnt expect if the Bible were merely the result of dictation. The human authors must have been intimately involved in the writing process. But, if thats true, how can we say the Bible contains Gods own words? Dont we just have the words of human beings the same as any other book? Thats where Gods comprehensive knowledge of each and every person, including the biblical authors, comes into play.

The summer Olympics are coming up in London. Imagine you have tickets to the mens marathon and your local paper asked if youd write an article covering it for the sports page. As the race is nearing the end, the leader enters the stadium well ahead of the other competitors and on world record pace. All of a sudden, his knee twists violently and he collapses into a heap on the track. Soon the other runners, one by one, pass him by as he lays there unable to finish the race.

How would you describe the scene? Wed all no doubt write something different. Our working vocabulary would obviously affect the words wed use: precise medical terminology might come easily for some of us, others would be content to use more general terms. Our personality would affect what we chose to focus on: many of us would focus on the specific details of what happened, others might speculate on the emotional impact the fall would have on the runner. Our range of sports knowledge would affect the comparisons wed make: if were up on our Olympic history, we might think of the falls of Dan Jansen and Mary Decker Slaney, but, if we were a football fan in the 80s, Joe Theismanns horrific leg injury might more naturally come to mind. How can anyone  believe the bible is God word? Other personal factors would no doubt play a role in shaping what we decided to say.

That connection between who we are and what we say suggests the better I know you, the better I can predict what youre going to say. My wife, Jeni, for example, knows that when I hear her say the word committee I almost always, in my best Beastie Boys imitation, burst into: They got a committee to get me off the block because I say my rhymes loud and I say em nonstop (I know. Youll never be able to get the image of me trying to rap out of your head. Sorry about that.) If I knew you well enough, Id have a pretty good idea of the article youd write on the marathon. The problem is we dont know anyone perfectly. As a result, we never know exactly what someone is going to say.

But, God isnt limited in that way. God knew exactly what the biblical authors would say because he knew everything about them. More than that though, from the beginning, God was shaping the kind of people they would become. In His providence, God shaped those factors that would shape their writing, including their personalities, vocabulary and worldview (Erickson 2000, 243). As a result, God not only knew what they would say, He knew they would say precisely what He Himself wanted to say. As Wayne Grudem puts it, Gods providential oversight and direction of the life of each author was such thatwhen they actually came to the point of putting pen to paper, the words were fully their own words but also fully the words that God wanted them to write, words that God would also claim as his own (1994, 81).…

Why Finding the Good In the Bad Is Sometimes So Hard

I was at a coffee shop this weekend and a friend noticed I was reading a book by Randy Alcorn titled If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil. The good In the bad is sometimes so hard. That led to a discussion about whether God has a plan for the bad things we go through in life. She had lost her job several months before. After not finding any jobs in her field, she was forced to take a job in a different line of work. At the time, some of her Christian friends told her losing her job was part of Gods plan. It was clear to them God allowed her to lose her job because he had a better one in store for her. The trouble is she doesn’t think this job is better. As a result, she finds it hard to agree with her friends assessment. Their view on her situation got me thinking about how easily we develop a sort of nearsightedness when it comes to Gods plan.

Our Nearsightedness

In the previous post, I suggested whether were Arniminan, Open Theist, or Calvinist, when it comes to explaining why God permits suffering, we all wind up pointing to some greater good he accomplishes through it. For a lot of us, thats where the nearsightedness comes in. We expect to see that greater good right in front of us in our immediate circumstances. So, when a friend loses their job, we assume it must be because God has better one for them. If they dont find a better job, we assume God wants them to learn some spiritual lesson (e.g. patience or trust). Those are results we can see and understand.

But, it doesnt always work that way. The hardships we endure dont always lead to an immediately obvious greater good. Many on the east coast, for example, whose homes were flooded by hurricane Sandy, will wind up with renewed hope and a greater appreciation for mankind because their neighbors reached out to help them. Others, though, might not find as many helping hands. Rather than renewed hope, they may simply find themselves overwhelmed by the devastation, lost in bureaucratic red tape, and tempted to give up.

We naturally want to see the good materialize right away. But, Gods plan is much bigger than any of us. Because events are interconnected, the things that happen in our lives both good and bad are part of a complex chain, But how can i believe God. That means the good God intends to accomplish through any given event in our lives may not be realized until years, decades or even generations down the road.

I am fortunate which will declare at the least four buddies, of each genders, who stretch returned almost 40 years, and some of different extra latest ones that are near and sturdybut i have additionally lost enough to take into account thatfriendships are tough, and the closer they are the extra difficult they turn out to bethis is also genuine of circle of relativesrelationships, but it’s very tough to get away your own family. With friendsif you annoy them an excessive amount ofthey can simply drop you. within this simple fact lies one of the first standards of friendship – tread cautiouslypals are treasured, even irreplaceable, however they’re also fragile.

Treading carefully is less complicated said than donea part of a good friendship is honesty, and eventually one is compelledto pick out among being amenable and giving a chum the honesty you suspect the connection deserveshowever honesty is constantly a risky approachwhether or not it’s asking “Do you like my new dress/healthy?” or “Do you want my new girlfriend/boyfriend?” every so often you are forced to discover what your friendship rests on, and from time to time the rules show insubstantial.

Think about Josephs situation. He was betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, and thrown into prison. Why did God ask Joseph to endure all that? He did eventually ascend to second in command over all of Egypt. Was Gods main concern making sure Joseph had a killer job? He probably learned some lessons along the way as well. Was that the reason God allowed him to suffer? No on both counts. Gods primary plan was fulfilling his promise to Abraham.…