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Attitude of Bible Reading

 

Bible, Study of

Have you ever seen a straight river? Canals are straight, but all rivers seem to be crooked. We call it “meandering.” Why are rivers crooked? Because the natural tendency of a river is to take the easiest way around any obstacle. So rivers are always crooked, and they always run downhill.

           Some people are like rivers. They are too lazy and immature to put forth much effort into walking with God. For them it’s easier to watch T.V. than to pray and easier to read their newspaper than their Bible. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Bible, Study of

A U.S. Army officer told of the contrast in his pupils during two different eras of teaching at the artillery training school at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In 1958-60 the attitude was so lax that the instructors had a problem getting the men to stay awake to listen. During the 1965-67 classes, however, the men, hearing the same basic lectures, were alert and took copious notes. The reason: these men knew that in less than six weeks they would be facing the enemy in Vietnam.

        One reason that Bible study seems to be irrelevant to many Christians is that they have no interaction with non-Christians, no vital ministry to growing believers, and no personal and internal struggle for godliness, all of which are factors that bring the truths of the Bible to apply to life. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Bible, Study of

There is a story about a teenage boy who was deeply interested in scientific subjects, especially astronomy. So his father bought him a very expensive telescope. Since the young fellow had studied the principles of optics, he found the instrument to be most intriguing. He took it apart, examined the lenses, and made detailed calculations on the distance of its point of focus. The youth became so absorbed in gaining a technical knowledge of the telescope itself that he never got around to looking at the stars. He knew a lot about that fine instrument, but he missed seeing the wonders of the heavens.

        As Christians, to know all the facts and figures contained in the Bible is not the end for which God has given us this Book. The purpose is that we might see God and know him. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

BIBLE, inerrancy of

Men do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts them.

Traditional.


Many of us would agree with Peter when he says that parts of Paul's letters are hard to understand! And there are difficulties and apparent discrepancies in other parts of the Bible too. On this matter of discrepancies, I remember reading something written by an old seventeenth-century Puritan named William Bridge. He said that harping on discrepancies shows a very bad heart, adding: "For a godly man, it should be as it was with Moses. When a godly man sees the Bible and secular data apparently at odds, well, he does as Moses did when he saw an Egyptian fighting an Israelite: He kills the Egyptian. He discounts the secular testimony, knowing God's Word to be true. But when he sees an apparent inconsistency between two passages of Scripture, he does as Moses did when he found two Israelites quarreling: he tries to reconcile them. He says, 'Aha, these are brethren, I must make peace between them.' And that's what the godly man does." 

James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986.


Maria Fedorovna, wife of Czar Alexander III and empress of Russia, once used a comma to save a prisoner from Siberian exile. Alexander's warrant had read, "Pardon impossible, to be sent to Siberia." Maria intervened and moved the comma so that the note read, "Pardon, impossible to be sent to Siberia." The prisoner was subsequently released!

Source Unknown.


According to Luscher, since 1850 biblical criticism has proposed more than 700 theories, all supposed to be the last word in science. By now more that 600 of these have become outmoded and discarded in the light of a more enlightened and extended scholarship.

Luscher.


A wealthy woman who was traveling overseas saw a bracelet she thought was irresistible, so she sent her husband this cable: "Have found wonderful bracelet. Price $75,000. May I buy it?" Her husband promptly wired back this response: "No, price too high." But the cable operator omitted the comma, so the woman received this message: "No price too high." Elated, she purchased the bracelet. Needless to say, at her return her husband was dismayed. It was just a little thing--a comma--but what a difference it made! 

Leslie B. Flynn, The Twelve.


"I have come to the conviction that no man knows enough to attack the veracity of the Old Testament. Every time when anyone has been able to get together enough documentary 'proofs' to undertake an investigation, the biblical facts in the original text have victoriously met the test." 

Prof. Robert Dick Wilson of Princeton, who held several doctorates and knew 45 languages and dialects of the Near East, as quoted in R. Pache, The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture.


For practical purposes the words infallible and inerrant are interchangeable. When we apply them to the Bible, what we are saying is that only those who accept as from God all that Scripture proves to tell us, promise us, or require of us, can ever fully please him. Both words thus have religious as well as theological significance; their function is to impose on our handling of the Bible a procedure which expresses faith in the reality and veracity of the God who speaks to us in and through what it says and who requires us to heed every word that proceeds from his mouth. This procedure requires us not to deny, disregard, or arbitrarily relativize anything that the writers teach or to discount any of the practical implications for worship and service which their teaching carries or to cut the knot of any problem of Bible harmony, factual or theological, by allowing ourselves to assume that the writers were not necessarily consistent with themselves or with each other.

For me to confess that Scripture is infallible and inerrant is to bind myself in advance to follow the method of harmonizing and integrating all that Scripture declares, without exception, I must believe that it is from God, however little I may like it, and whatever change of present beliefs, ways, and commitments it may require, and I must actively seek to live by it. 

James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986.


STATISTICS AND STUFF

 

The end result of all of this is sadly illustrated in the book, Reforming Fundamentalism, by George A. Marsden, which informs that 85% of the students in one of America's largest evangelical seminaries stated that they do not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. Beyond that, a poll of 10,000 U.S.A. clergymen (of whom 74% replied) by sociologist Jeffery Hadden in 1987 clearly reveals the effects of this significant change of belief through the passage of time. When asked if they believed that the Scriptures are the inspired and inerrant Word of God in faith, history, and secular matters:

95% of Episcopalians said "No."
87% of Methodists said "No."
82% of Presbyterians said "No."
77% of American Lutherans said "No."
67% of American Baptists said "No."

This sad commentary speaks for itself.      

The Gideon, January, 1994, pp. 12-13.

 

BIBLE, love of

A man in Kansas City was severely injured in an explosion. Evangelist Robert L. Sumner tells about him in his book The Wonders of the Word of God. The victim's face was badly disfigured, and he lost his eyesight as well as both hands. He was just a new Christian, and one of his greatest disappointments was that he could no longer read the Bible. Then he heard about a lady in England who read braille with her lips. Hoping to do the same, he sent for some books of the Bible in braille. Much to his dismay, however, he discovered that the nerve endings in his lips had been destroyed by the explosion. One day, as he brought one of the braille pages to his lips, his tongue happened to touch a few of the raised characters and he could feel them. Like a flash he thought, I can read the Bible using my tongue. At the time Robert Sumner wrote his book, the man had "read" through the entire Bible four times.

Robert L. Sumner, The Wonders of the Work of God.