Here is the latest from the ASK project….
Also on YouTube here
The above video is addressed to non-believers who have objections to the idea of reading the Bible.
The notes below are for Christians –
Stumbling Blocks to Christ – 1. Scripture –
These are the notes from a discussion we had at St Peters Presbyterian Church on 22nd March 2022
When we seek to communicate Christ we do so through his Word. But many people today automatically dismiss the Bible as a reliable source – and won’t touch it with a barge pole. Often this is based upon cultural misconceptions, ignorance of the Bible, and prejudices gleaned from the Internet. Sometimes we need to attempt to remove some of these objections. The following are the five most common objections I have come across. Please note that these are just summary notes and there is a lot more that can be added in every one of them – this is just an outline to help you think it through.
- Chronological Snobbery – Why believe such an old book? This question arises from a common way of thinking in contemporary culture. We are chronological snobs. We think that we are the most advanced, clever, intelligent, enlightened society in the world – just because we are modern. This is built upon the fallacy of progressivism – the notion that human beings are always evolving in a progressive way. It is irrational to reject the wisdom of the past or to dismiss something just because it is older! Besides which we believe that the Bible is inspired by God for all ages – and is the living Word of God today. God’s Word is eternal.
- Communication – Can God Speak? There are people who believe that there is no God – and therefore by definition, a being that does not exist, cannot speak. But this is a circular argument. The logical position is to accept that that IF there is an almighty God, then he could speak. As Schaeffer put it – He is there and He is not silent! He is the Word.
- Content – There are those who object to the Bible because of the content within it. The first thing to do is ask whether people have actually read the Bible or are they just repeating something they have heard about the Bible. Then challenge people to read it for themselves. Secondly we need to acknowledge that there are some things within Scripture which are hard, difficult and jarring. This should not surprise us because it is a collection of 66 books with a wide variety of contexts.
- Contradictions – Isn’t the Bible full of contradictions? If you are asked this then the best thing is to ask the person making the statement to provide some examples. I would agree that there are ‘apparent’ contradictions – but there are no direct contradictions which negate one another. Some that you are given you will be able to answer yourself – but if you receive a question that you don’t know the answer to – ask an expert!
- Confusion – what does it really mean? The argument is that people have used the Bible to support completely contrary positions. In effect they are saying that the Bible can mean whatever you want it to mean. But God is not the author of confusion. If you believe in the Bible what you like, and leave out what you don’t like, then it is not the Bible you believe but yourself. We need to read with humility. We do not sit in judgement upon the Bible – it judges us!
2 Peter 1:21 – “For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”.
Seven Positive Considerations:
It is not usually good to always be on the defensive – answering objections. Often it is better to express things in a positive way. So here are seven positives about the Bible you can point out.
The Bible is:
Contemporary – We don’t need to make the Bible relevant, it is relevant. People are often astonished how contemporary it is.
Clear – Whilst the Bible has difficult parts it is overall remarkably clear – especially on the main things. It is important for people to read it in context. It also helps to remember what the Bible is not – it is not a comprehensive manual for morals, a science book or a feel good, how to book. God accommodates himself to us – revealing to us according to our capacity. We also need to remember that much of the bible is descriptive (telling us what happened), rather than prescriptive (telling us what should happen).
Compassionate – Rather than the negative and sometimes dull and angry caricature that people have of the Bible, we need to point out that it is a deeply compassionate and moving book. Perhaps sometimes a personal story of how it has impacted us will help.
Creative – The Bible is not monochrome. It is technicolour. There is a wide variety within it. Point out that it is history, ethics, poetry, prophecy, song, gospel, story and apocalyptic.
Challenging – The Bible is not a self- help book. It does not flatter us. It does not encourage us to be the best we can be. It is challenging and dangerous. But that is itself a great reason to read it.
Convincing – “Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35). It works! The Bible does not need us to make it attractive, relevant or true. It just is! We ourselves need to be convinced that the Word of God convinces and convicts – as the Spirit applies it. We need to ask people to ask for the Spirit. Will the Father refuse to give the Spirit to those who ask him?! (Luke 11:13)
Christ Centred – It’s ultimately not a book about us – but about Christ. We need to tell people that all of Scripture is ultimately about him. (Luke 24:27). And that Christ is their greatest need and God’s greatest gift. This book will give you Christ. Take and read. Taste and see. Try and live.
The ASK Project
The correct e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are further interested in this I have a chapter in Magnificent Obsession, and three within A.S.K which deal with the same subject. I have also recorded a video for non-Christians which shows one way how these points can be used…(See above)