Recently I had the privilege of presenting at a Teacher In-Service for Cornerstone Christian School in the Bellevue, NE area. The topic I was asked to teach on was "The Need for Biblical Truth."
Here's an edited form of my first major point: Why does biblical truth need my attention?
Biblical truth needs my attention because of doubt, skepticism, and critique from those outside of evangelicalism
We can get a sense of the questions people are asking and the accusations some are making through a simple survey of the Table of Contents’ of recent evangelical apologetic works. For example:
These chapter titles all indicate questions people are asking and issues others are struggling with. Clearly, these questions and issues deal with things like biblical morality, the transmission of the Bible, the contents of the Bible, and the message of the Bible. All of these questions and issues touch closely on biblical truth.
Or consider book titles by those who are more firmly planted outside of evangelicalism - perhaps even antagonistic towards it:
These book titles reinforce many of the questions and issues mentioned already: What is the nature of the Bible? Can we trust the message of the Bible? How reliable are the contents of our Bible? The way we answer these questions is important - our answers will either undermine our view of biblical truth, or increase our appetite for it.
The more we give our attention to biblical truth, the more we'll be prepared to process and respond to these questions in a responsible, winsome way.
Biblical Truth needs my attention because of neglect and erosion within evangelicalism
Questions and attacks from outside of evangelicalism aren't the only reasons we need to give our attention to biblical truth. The neglect of the Bible within the evangelical church also brings the importance of this material to the surface.
Let’s look first at some broader cultural trends as researched by the Barna Group in their “The Bible in America: 6-Year Trends” (released June 15, 2016). The whole report is worthwhile and does include some hopeful signs. But what I want to focus on here is the trending reality away from the Bible and its authority. Here are some excerpts from the report:
Or a little further down in the report:
Here's how Barna summarized what the research means:
These broader cultural trends have surely infiltrated the church. Consider these comments from Ed Stetzer, until recently the Director of LifeWay Research in an article he wrote, "Dumb and Dumber: How Biblical Illiteracy is Killing Our Nation":
Or from the same article:
Here's the take-away for us: As Christians, we must stay vigilant in advocating for the Bible’s central place in our lives, and the lives of those we influence! I think J.I. Packer was right when he wrote, "To reestablish in people’s minds the truth and wisdom of the biblical message…is perhaps the church’s most urgent task today" (quoted in Leland Ryken, J.I. Packer: An Evangelical Life, p. 256).
Biblical truth needs my attention because of the nature of biblical revelation.
Briefly: The Bible needs our attention (and deserves our attention!) because of what the Bible is! As the inspired, inerrant revelation of God, we should WANT to be returning to this book, the Bible, again and again and again and again! Just consider these two verses that show us WHAT the Bible is. As we appreciate WHAT the Bible is, WHY we should read it follows naturally.
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