I believe in God the Father, Jesus Christ his only begotten Son, and the Holy Spirit, three Persons and one God.
I believe that Jesus Christ came to earth, was born of a virgin, suffered and died on a cross and rose again three days later. By virtue of this, all who are identified with Christ by faith shall rise again just as He did.
I believe that Jesus Christ is coming again at the end of the age to judge and restore all things, and His coming kingdom will have no end.
I believe that the Bible is true. Jesus said so. When someone dies and then comes back to life a couple of days later, you go with whatever he says.
But the Bible didn’t come down to earth. It was not conceived of a virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit. It did not die on a Roman cross so that my sins might be forgiven and I might have eternal life.
The Bible did not rise from the dead three days later. It did not ascend into heaven and it does not sit at the right hand of the Father.
The Bible will not come in glory to judge the living and the dead and to rule a kingdom that will have no end.
So I have nothing invested in the latest archaeological discovery that is supposed to prove to all the world once and for all that the Bible is true. I have nothing invested in anyone’s attempt to look at science “from a Christian perspective” as if all the facts and figures must be reinterpreted to line up with what we think the Bible says. I have no interest in anyone’s attempt to mine the Scriptures for principles for better finances, better relationships, better families, better diet, etc. I have no tolerance for anyone’s attempt to line current events up with end-times prophecy in the countdown to the Rapture.
I have nothing invested in all the debates about how long were the days in Genesis 1? Were there dinosaurs on the ark? Was Jonah a real person who really got swallowed up by a big fish? Did the sun really stand still during that battle in Joshua?
Everyone talks about these things as if it is all just a long line of dominoes. Tip one over and all 66 books of the Bible come crashing down one after the other until all we are left with is “myth, legend, and folklore”.
Come on, people.
If the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16) were not real people, does that make heaven and hell not real?
If Jonah was not a real person (I believe he was. Jesus talked about him as if he were a real person. When someone dies and comes back to life a couple of days later, you go with whatever he says. But I digress.)
If Jonah was not a real person…
If there were no dinosaurs on the ark…
If the flood was not a worldwide event…
If Genesis 1 was not a six-literal-day event…
…does that mean that Jesus Christ was not raised from the dead and I am still in my sins and my faith is in vain?
There is no logical necessity here. You have to prove that there is. All those slippery-slope arguments which attempt to convince me that if we can’t trust the Bible when it says X then we can’t trust it when it says Jesus rose from the dead are not convincing to me.
Ken Ham’s big thing these days is that there were dinosaurs on the ark. How does he get this? In his way of looking at things, creation was a six-day event that took place 6,000 years ago. We have evidence of dinosaurs in the fossil record. Given that timeline, dinosaurs had to be living with humans during the early years of humanity. We know this is true because all those legends about Beowulf and the dragon, the Loch Ness Monster, St. George and the dragon, etc. didn’t just come from nowhere–they had to have some basis in fact so all those legends had to have been inspired by dinosaurs living with people.
Don’t believe this? Then it’s evolution and “millions of years” (Ham’s big catchphrase–say it slowly and with an Aussie accent to get the full effect). And if you believe that, then of course you don’t believe what the Bible says about creation. And if you don’t believe what the Bible says about creation…well, you can’t just pick and choose what parts of the Bible you want to believe. The Bible isn’t an all-you-can-eat buffet where you take what you like and leave the rest. It stands or falls as a whole. So if you don’t believe what the Bible says about creation, then you don’t believe what the Bible says about Jesus rising from the dead. Your faith is in vain, you are still in your sins.
Come on, people.
The Bible is a collection of books written by several different authors in several different places. It has a bewildering diversity of perspectives but is held together by one unifying theme: Jesus Christ is Lord. He came to earth, died on a cross, rose from the dead, and he is coming again at the end of the age.
I believe that the Bible is the authoritative, divinely inspired word of God. It is completely adequate to fulfill its intended purpose, which is to point people toward Jesus Christ.
To get from “Jonah was not a real person” or “There were no dinosaurs on the ark” to “Jesus did not rise from the dead” is an extremely long way to go. There is no logical necessity here which says that if you start at either of these points you will end at “Jesus did not rise from the dead”. To say that there is, requires some creative thinking to say the least.
The Bible did not come to earth and die on a cross for the forgiveness of my sins. Its purpose is to point me to Jesus Christ, who did exactly that.