Defending the Bible?
Originally published in a CMI newsletter, April 2012
It’s common for professing Christians to struggle with some of the more ‘unbelievable’ things in Scripture. Sometimes they reject key teachings and create a religion of their own making, barely recognizable as Christianity. One of the major reasons people end up walking away from the faith or become hesitant about sharing their faith is that they don’t accept the Bible’s claims. How can they persuade anyone to believe the Bible when they aren’t convinced themselves?
One might not believe in six-day Creation or the global Flood of Noah’s day, or a historical Adam. But how does one deny the Bible’s authority on ‘non-essential’ issues without damaging its authority on essential matters like soteriology (doctrines of salvation)? People can be spectacularly wrong about any of a number of important doctrines, but as we shall see, what happened in the book of Genesis is actually foundational to the very reason we need to be saved.
In our experience, many Christians go on the defensive when challenged as to the veracity of Scripture’s claims. The basic assumption is that there are some things in Scripture that God surely can’t expect the enlightened 21st-century believer to hold to. Instead of accepting this premise and asking, ‘What parts of Scripture can I discard?’, a better strategy might be to go on the offensive and ask them, if they claim to be followers of Christ, then shouldn’t they believe what Jesus believed? After all, if we call ourselves Christians, we’re obligated to follow Christ—including in what He taught and believed. Jesus taught that God created recently, that Adam was a historical human being, and He accepted the Old Testament teaching that the Flood was a global disaster that killed every person and land vertebrate outside of the Ark. Importantly, He used the seriousness of it to point out that there will be similar coming judgment. One ignores the Bible’s history at one’s peril. Yet these are precisely the beliefs that are most under attack today.
Go on the ‘offensive’
There is actually so much information we can now use to show the Bible has been proved trustworthy over and over again. For example, the many fulfilled Bible prophecies, such as Isaiah’s prophecy that a Persian king would arise with the name of Cyrus—around 150 years before the event occurred. In the field of archaeology, it has been confirmed by numerous archaeological discoveries. The Hittites were presumed to be a mythical tribe because no physical evidence had been found. That was until a huge ‘City of the Hittites’ was uncovered. As a result, the Bible is regarded as the “most accurate history book in the world.” We could use this fact to then point out that one should logically believe its other historical claims, like a real Adam and Eve and a global Flood etc.
In the New Testament, scholars used to be skeptical about John’s description of the Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem, but archaeology showed that John’s description was accurate (incidentally proving that the Gospel of John was authored by someone who had been in Jerusalem before the AD 70 destruction, which fits very well with the Apostle John being the author). Moreover, this same John and all the NT authors—and even Jesus himself—believed and quoted from Genesis more times than any other book in the Bible. They believed it to be true.1
Creation is the key
It is in the area of Genesis creation where the rubber really meets the road, and where we can directly answer the challenges. On CREATION.com we have almost 8,500 fully searchable articles where one can find FREE answers, print them out or forward to friends. There is an extensive Q&A section for people to explore. We publish the most widely-read Creation magazine and an in-depth, peer-reviewed Journal of Creation. The trouble is most people have never heard this information and don’t know that it even exists. Of course, it’s your support of Creation Ministries International that helps us produce such information and to help disseminate it through the some 1,200 presentations that we give each year internationally.
The point of all this is to demonstrate that the Bible is trustworthy, including its claims about sin and salvation. And if Jesus is the Savior as the Bible describes then believing what He believed would surely be a good basis to start? In short, because Jesus believed Genesis was history, so should we.