The Last Word

Sep 08, 2016
David R. Reid

2 Timothy 3:16-17 -All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
This year is going to be very different for many of you. You’re now in college, and being in college can be a traumatic experience for a Christian student. Away from families, friends and home, you are left wide open for all kinds of problems. One of your most vulnerable areas will be in reference to your Christian faith. For many of you on a secular campus, the trauma will begin with a course in Philosophy–or Religion, of all things! The Bible will undoubtedly be mentioned again and again in your courses and discussions. You will hear so many “new things” about the Bible that you’ll feel like you’ve been in a sheltered vacuum all your life. You’ll have so many new questions about the Bible that you’ll be frustrated and confused and not know where to begin. But when all is said and done, the issue will come down to this very basic question: What is the Bible? Sounds pretty naive, but think over the profound implications of this question before reading on.
Is the Bible merely a collection of man’s highest and noblest thoughts about God down through history? Is the Bible simply the result of man’s unending search for the divine? Is the Bible only a record of the various experiences of man which are worth passing on for the benefit and preservation of human society? Is the Bible just a “good book” containing what man has found to be timeless truth and the best moral values to live by? Is the Bible merely a product of man’s thinking relative to his constantly changing culture, and therefore contains no absolute standards whatsoever? Or–is the Bible what it claims to be: the Word of God?
The basic issue, then, is whether the Bible is man’s words about God or God’s words to man. If the Bible is only man’s words about God, then we may assume that some statements may be true, but other statements may be “slightly erroneous.” If the Bible is only man’s words about God, great and beautiful though they may be, it can have no real basis for authority over my life. I may appreciate its insights. I may deem it worthy of study. I may respect its values. I may follow its principles. But no way does it have authority over me! How can the accumulated

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