Thursday, April 1, 2010

In Defense of the Bible

This past week I was at the library searching files of microfilm for Christian articles that the Pastor of my church had written in the late 1980’s when he was pastoring a church in Newfoundland, Canada. The newspaper I was researching was called the Western Star, which is the daily local newspaper for the Newfoundland area.

As I was scrolling through each issue, I came upon an article in the "Letters to the Editor" section that made a compelling case for why we can trust the Bible and believe it is the infallible Word of God. The letter was written in response to a weekly religion columnist named Michael Newton, who, as far as I can tell, spent most of his time researching scholarly works and rhetoric that denounced the Bible as being inspired of God. As you will see, Mr. Newton’s repeated attacks on the veracity of the Bible incited this reader, Robert M. Pike, to pen the following article. I am included it in its entirety because it is one of the most well-written and well-argued articles that I have read on the subject.

Please comment and let me know your thoughts.

Thank God for the Bible

Sir, I would like to make a few remarks regarding recent articles by Mr. Newton in the Religion Online section. Since Mr. Newton’s articles on the Christian religion differ very little, I see no need to be specific. I am reminded of an old poem that reads as follows:

Last eve I passed by the Blacksmiths door
and heard the anvil ring the vesper chime,
and looking in I saw upon on the floor,
old hammers wrecked by beating years of time.

"How many anvils have you had," said I,
"to wear and batter all those hammers so?"
"Just one" said he, and with a twinkling eye,
"that anvil wears the hammers out you know."

And so I thought the anvil of God’s Word,
through ages skeptic blows have beat upon,
yet though the noise of falling blows is heard,
the anvil is unharmed, the hammers gone.

Writers of Mr. Newton’s persuasion remind me of the Roman Senator Cato who ended all his speeches in the Senate with the words, "Carthago delenda est" (Carthage must be destroyed), only they are supplying the word "God" for Carthage. They follow the line of Karl Marx who once said his sole purpose in life was to destroy God in the hearts of men. Such people who believe that God is obsolete have no personal responsibility to a Creator, and of course, feel no need of the Bible or a Personal Savior. Once, while talking to unbelievers of His day, Jesus gave them advice that could well be taken today. He said, "You search the Scriptures (the Law and the Prophets), for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me" (John 5:39).

Bible critics attack the story of creation and the work of Jesus Christ (John 1). They attack His virgin birth (Matthew 1:18-22); His life and earthly ministry; they attack His work of redemption (John 19:28-30); they deny the declaration of God that He (Jesus) was His son and that He resurrected (Romans 1:4); and they make a mockery of His coming again. In other words, they deny all prophecy whether foretold or forth-told. If they could have disapproved all this they would have succeeded in destroying God. God stakes His claim to being God on His ability to foretell the future saying, "For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done" (Isaiah 46:9-10).

In the New Testament, we have the Apostle Peter saying, "For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty." One would think that would be sufficient proof, but he goes on to say, "And so we have the prophetic word confirmed…knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:16-21).

More than 2,500 years ago, Daniel said that many in the end time would go to and fro and knowledge would be increased (12:4). It seems to me that prophecy has amply been fulfilled since the turn of the century. I need not elaborate.

Before I finish I would like to mention two or three items to show how far ahead of modern science the Bible really is:
1) When most people thought the world was flat, Isaiah said, "It is He who sits above the circle of the earth" (40:22). Job declares, "He hangs the earth on nothing" (26:7). What scientist could give a better description of the earth’s shape and position in orbit?
2) For hundreds of years the basic elements of the world were thought to be earth, air, water and fire. Then came the scientific age and they discovered the atom, electron, proton and photon - an amazing discovery indeed. But what does the Bible say? "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible" (Hebrews 11:3).
3) We know that the world’s food supply is made possible by the hydrologic cycle. In 1841 a scientist using a thermometer invented by Galileo in 1593 and a barometer invented by Torricelli in 1643, showed that the clouds were actually the result of rising vapor. Hundreds of years before the Bible says, "For He draws up drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist, which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man" (Job 36:27-28). In Ecclesiastes 1:7, we read, "All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; To the place from which the rivers come, there they return again."

Thank God for the Bible.

- Robert M. Pike

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