Answering questions about the Bible with the Bible

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J.K. Riki
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Answering questions about the Bible with the Bible

Postby J.K. Riki » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:17 pm

I came across a life-changing little tidbit while reading Tim Keller's book on Preaching, and I wanted to share it. It actually comes from 19th century preacher Charles Spurgeon:

"There seems to me to have been twice as much done in some ages defending the Bible as in expounding it, but if the whole of our strength shall henceforth go to the exposition and spreading of it, we may leave it pretty much to defend itself. I do not know whether you see that lion - it is very distinctly before my eyes; a number of persons advance to attack him, while a host of us would defend [him]... Pardon me if I offer a quiet suggestion. Open the door and let the lion out; he will take care of himself. Why, they are gone! He no sooner goes forth in strength than his assailants flee. The way to meet infidelity is to spread the Bible. The answer to every objection against the Bible is the Bible."

Essentially this is saying stop trying to defend God because God can handle it. Instead tell people about him and his love.

I found this fascinating to think about, but it went from academically-interesting to wow-this-actually-works-perfectly when I recently had a chance to use this in the real world. Someone was debating with me about the existence of God (the usual "give me exact scientific evidence" stuff) and I did my best to be patient and kind while trying to explain the difference between scientific method and literally everything else in the universe, but then I started looking for Scripture instead. I found so much that was exactly what needed to be said, and said far better than anything I could come up with. All I needed was there! I had no reason to rely on my own work or language. It was beautiful.

Anyways, hope that's as helpful to someone here reading as it was to me! God really is amazing, and the idea that we don't need to defend him after all he's done seems like something I should have realized a lot sooner (and would have saved me so much difficulty if I had!).

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Re: Answering questions about the Bible with the Bible

Postby ArcticFox » Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:31 pm

Good point. and good post.

Ultimately, a certain amount of debate for the sake of exercising our own understanding and knowledge is a good thing, but it's pointless to argue with someone whose goal is not to seek after truth, but to gain validation by battering others into agreeing with them.

"The truth points to itself"
-Kosh, Vorlon Ambassador to Babylon 5
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
—Brigham Young

"Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus."
—Christopher Hitchens

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Re: Answering questions about the Bible with the Bible

Postby J.K. Riki » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:14 pm

but it's pointless to argue with someone whose goal is not to seek after truth, but to gain validation by battering others into agreeing with them.
Totally. And it's wisdom to discern when it's the former and when the latter. After some debate with the person I was talking to yesterday, it became pretty clear it was the second bit there... So I pointed to Deuteronomy 4:29 as the proper starting place and wished him all the best. I was/am more than happy to continue the discussion, but if someone isn't willing to begin at Deut 4:29 I don't think there's much I can do to help. You have to WANT to seek the truth. No one can force you.

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Re: Answering questions about the Bible with the Bible

Postby Barnabaas » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:42 am

Thats a wonderful word!

I'd love to help expound on the Bible on this forum if there is an appropriate place. Also (and I agree it's much less important) I'd also love to help defend the faith and the Bible here wherever appropriate.

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Re: Answering questions about the Bible with the Bible

Postby ccgr » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:46 pm

I find myself in more defensive situations than sharing ones. I try to do both when appropriate.

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Re: Answering questions about the Bible with the Bible

Postby RemnantRD » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:13 am

We should definitely allow the light of God to shine through us in our everyday lives. This is one of the best ways to reach out and evangelize. People will see for example that you do not do the things which other people do in the world, and oftentimes they may ask questions for the joy that is in you.

We shouldn't discount the value of being able to understand scripture with scripture. As my pastor once said, the Bible is confirmed within itself by multiple witnesses and authors. 100% of the bible is harmonized with no contradiction (with correct context). In fact, this is one of the ways we can know whether books should be included or excluded from Scripture. The Apocrypha may be historically accurate but have been excluded because there are doctrinal issues which contradict the rest of scripture.

We find that most of the time, we utilize scripture to defend scripture when we are called to deep Apologetics within the church or with others who have twisted scripture to their own means in order to promote doctrine that is contrary to the bible. This can come in all shapes and form from overt heresy found in cults to small twists of scripture here and there which honestly can have a far more damaging effect than outright error being promoted in the church.


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