“It is impossible to be a follower of Christ while denying, disregarding, discrediting, and disbelieving the words of Christ.”
David Platt, Counter Culture: A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography. Tyndale House Publishers, 2015, p.17.
“We should carefully study and qualify the nature of violence in Scripture, but we must not do violence to Scripture in the process.”
Paul Copan & Matthew Flannagan, Did God Really Command Genocide? (Kindle location 894).
“We should be distressed by professing Christians’ abuse of Scripture, using such texts to justify the subjugation of women, the horrors of the slave trade, and the oppression of people groups.”
Paul Copan & Matthew Flannagan, Did God Really Command Genocide? (Kindle location 787).
“Character, context, and likely purposes in making an utterance are all factors that make for a sensible interpretation. Proper interpretation requires more than simply paying attention to words.”
Paul Copan & Matthew Flannagan, Did God Really Command Genocide? (Kindle location 546).
In conversation the other night, someone asked me a question about how we can know what is true and what is not true. I responded by saying that I made up my mind years ago to base my understanding of what is true on what God has revealed in the Bible. There can be no other basis for certainty. I supposes hypothetically someone might be able to study all the books in the world and come to some other standard of certainty. But even if that happened, it would merely be a choice made by someone stepping out in the dark, and holding up a spent torch, saying “I see, I see!” How do I know that someone else sees? I would have to trust.
But if it comes down to a choice to trust, wouldn’t it make more sense to trust God? Why would it not make sense to let God’s word be my guide? I can imagine only three possible reason for not trusting God’s word: lack of faith in God’s existence, or lack of conviction about what he has revealed on the subject in question, or lack of trust that he cares enough to give you a certain answer. There are lots of people in each category. My sneaking suspicion is that each of these excuses feed on each other.
So, I offer this advice for those who are in constant anxiety about this thing or that. First, dare to believe that there is a sovereign God. Then, dare to study his word until you find the truth about what is bothering you. Finally, dare to live on the basis of what you found there. If you have the courage to seek his will in this way, he will reveal it to you. His faithfulness is our basis for certainty.