COMPELLING TRUTH  



Why You Either Believe Or Reject The Bible


By Robin Schumacher





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I'm fortunate to have a Master's degree in Christian Apologetics from a seminary with a strong apologetics focus, having been taught my apologetics and philosophy by one of the top Christian defenders alive today (Dr. Norman Geisler). This means I am well-versed in the defense of the Bible and can provide various evidences (e.g. historical, archaeological, philosophical, prophetic, etc.) as to why the Bible is trustworthy and should be believed.

I also have a Ph.D. in New Testament with my dissertation being on the apologetics of the Apostle Paul. This means I can carry on conversations about manuscript evidence, the internal consistency of the New Testament and much more, all of which add extra weight as to why the Bible should be believed.

Even though I am schooled in all these things, and value the information greatly, they are not why I believe the Bible is true.

Skeptics and the Bible

Those who distrust all or parts of the Bible do so for numerous reasons. For many, the primary cause is a presuppositional bias against the supernatural. A man coming back from the dead, walking on water, instantly curing diseases and more immediately raise red flags to the skeptic because such things are not routinely observed and therefore are dismissed as fable.

For others, the contents of Scripture simply rub them the wrong way. The God of the Old Testament seems merciless and cruel, the moral pronouncements seem outdated and go against their chosen desires/lifestyle, or they don't like the idea of Hell.

Still others object to the Bible on philosophical grounds. They don't understand, for example, how an all-powerful and loving God could permit evil to occur in the world.

Although these are all questions/issues that deserve good answers (which have been given), these explanations are not why non-Christians don't believe the Bible to be true.

Why People Embrace the Bible

If you're a Christian, do you remember when or how you came to believe in the truthfulness of the Bible? I do.

I was an engineering/business student in college. We went to church, but I couldn't have cared less. I'd never opened the Bible myself one time in my life and read it.

Then, for reasons I still can't explain, I bought a book on Bible prophecy. Maybe it was because of all the math and statistics I was taking in school — I was amazed at the Bible's predictions and the impossibility of those prophecies occurring or being faked.

For the first time I also realized that if Jesus really did come back, I was in big trouble. At the end of the book was a prayer on how to receive Christ, which I did.

Everything changed for me then, especially where the Bible was concerned.

I didn't know what apologetics was and couldn't make a defense of the Bible to save my life, but when I first started reading the Bible for myself, I knew what I was reading was the truth.

Such is the case for most Christians. Maybe God brought them to Himself through existential circumstances or via a more cerebral route. As C. S. Lewis observed: "Nearly everyone I know who has embraced Christianity in adult life has been influenced by what seemed to him to be at least a probable argument for theism." [1]

It's not that we believe for no reason. There is always some instrumental cause God uses to sink His truth into us whether it's through the heart or head. But make no mistake about it: if you're a Christian and believe the Bible, it's not because you're smarter (or dumber by the skeptic's way of thinking...), figured things out where other's haven't, or are better in some way than any other person.

You believe the Bible because God loved you, saved you, gifted you with the Holy Spirit, and by grace opened your eyes to believe His Word.

One particular verse in Scripture (on which I built my entire 300-page doctoral dissertation) spells this out beautifully: "For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction" (1 Thessalonians 1:45).

Why did Paul's listeners in Thessalonica believe the truth of God that Paul brought them while others rejected the apostle's preaching? Because God loved them, selected them to be His children, and gifted them with the Spirit so they believed with true conviction.




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Image credit: JPott; Creative Commons



TagsCurrent-Issues  |  History-Apologetics  |  Sin-Evil  |  Theological-Beliefs



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Published 3-17-14