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Why Believe the Bible?

Here are my responses to the questions. I have decided not to post numerical values to the statements, but rather to generalize what I see to be the strengths and/or weaknessess of each. You may have disagreements with my assesments. That is fine. The purpose of this exercise is to stimulate thought. You may well think of other reasons than I have mentioned. Great! The more reasons, and the more solid our reasons for believing the Bible, the more grounded will be our faith!

1. Because my parents taught me to believe in the Bible.
This is all right for children, and not a reason totally devoid of value even for the adult, but we must have stronger reasons than this if we are to be strong in the faith. What of those who've been taught to believe the Koran, or some other sacred writings or belief system? Do Christians have no more reason to believe than they? We are individually accountable to know the truth for ourselves - not to just depend on those in positions of authority to tell us the "truth". There are those who consider that the common uneducated people must of necessity accept the words of the educated elite as truth because they are incapable of attaining the truth otherwise. Such fail to recall that the words of academia are often in disagreement with one other, so why shouldn't the common folk at the very least have the right to choose? They also fail to recall that the same God who gave the truth to "lowly" fishermen 2000 years ago can do the same today through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit to those who may be considered the "lowly" of today. We are not excusable for being in error simply because the authority figures in our lives are in error. God understands that we have varying intellectual gifts, but we are all accountable to make use of the gray matter He has given us! In actuality, learning spiritual truth is not so much a matter of strength of intellect as it is a willingness to be taught by God.

2. Because my teachers taught me to believe the Bible.
Same as for number 1.

3. Because my pastor / priest / church taught me to believe the Bible.
Same as for number 1.

4. Because many of the prophecies in the Bible were fullfilled with remarkable precision centuries and even millenia after they were written.
Here is a reason that appeals to the intellect, and let none forget, it was God who created the intellect! I believe this is a very powerful reason for believing the Bible. (See the links pertaining to Bible prophecy on this website).

5. I don't know, I just believe it!
This may surprise some, but I don't consider this altogether a bad reason. The Holy Spirit may have placed a seed of faith in the person's mind, and the person just doesn't understand that fact yet. This reason definately needs corroboration with other reasons, including ones that appeal to the intellect. We need reasons that appeal to both the spiritual and to the intellectual faculties of the mind.

6. I have a strong sense that it is true.
Essentially the same responce as for 5. This reason is more clearly formulated than 5, which is good.

7. The Bible gives me a sense of meaning and purpose that I have not found anywhere else.
I believe this is a very well formulated reason for believing the Bible that appeals especially to our spiritual nature, but that can be understood to some degree by our intellectual powers as well.

8. The teachings of the Bible have transformed my life.
A very powerful reason.

9. I have applied the teachings of the Bible to my life, and they work!
A very powerful reason.

10. Archeology has repeatedly attested to the accuracy of the Bible, often to the embarrassment of the skeptics.
Good.
Note, of course, that historical accuracy in and of itself doesn't prove the spiritual integrity of the Bible. See www.amazingdiscoveries.org/bible_authenticity.htm for more information. (Broken link - will fix it when I can. Sorry.)

11. I have witnessed miraculous events similar to those described in the Bible.
Good. However, unexplainable events happen outside the Christian faith as well. It is essential to be able to explain how this is possible, and why you choose to believe in the God of Christianity rather than other alternatives. Interestingly, many reject the Bible because they don't accept the concept of the supernatural and consider those who believe in the supernatural to be naive and superstitious. How quickly that would all change - even for the most die-hard materialist - if the supernatural were to become more openly manifest! On the other hand, Christians believe that there are good and evil forces in the universe, and that the evil forces are intent on deception. So, while supernatural manifestations are a powerful argument against materialism, great care needs to be taken in their assessment as they can be a mighty influence to mislead as well.

12. I personally know someone who has witnessed miraculous events similar to those described in the Bible.
See 11.

13. I have heard or read of miraculous events similar to those described in the Bible.
See 11.

14. The Biblical record is consistent with scientific observation.
Same as 10. I know many may smirk at this statement. However, those who are the most scathing in their attacks on the Bible in the name of science often show a great deal of ignorance of what creation scientists really teach and of the arguments used by creationists. Be informed, and, for the sake of truth, have an open mind! Also, exercise the spiritual cognition that God has given to everyone alive that the path of truth is a good one, and that we have nothing to fear from possible loss of any sort by walking in it! See Creation and Evolution - What Both Sides Should Do And Avoid, and study the websites linked to from that page!

15. The Bible itself says that it's true.
That is, however, no proof that it is true, as any book can make that assertion. If, however, you are reading a book of the Bible, and that book or author has won your confidence, and then you read where the author states that the Bible is true, then you have some ground to go by, based upon your confidence in the author.

Page added: 2005.07.09 (or before)
Last modified: 2009.03.01

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