Page 8 - January 2018 - Truth & Tidings
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he Bible is different from every  confirm the accuracy of the Bible; instead,
              other book, because God wrote it  we use the Bible to confirm the accuracy
        T(2Tim 3:16-17). Since every word of  of external sources. The self-sustaining
        it proceeded from the mouth of God, the  power of God’s Word makes it impervious
        Bible is without error in everything that it  to skeptical arguments; it breaks down
        affirms (Matt 4:4). It speaks perfectly and  unbelief before apologetic questions have
        reliably about its own divine origin, God’s  even been answered. Despite their protests
        work of creation, the events of world his-  and denials, people intuitively recognize
        tory, the accomplishments of the Cross,  God’s voice when they hear it. Even when
        and the power of the risen Christ to save all  the preacher’s arguments stumble, God’s
        who trust Him. Every word of it is “firmly   Word still breaks through to the coldest
        fixed in the heavens” (Psalm 119:89, ESV).  heart.
          Skeptics reject this claim, because they   Then why explore apologetics? Because
        assume that the Bible must be subject to the   the Bible shows that it is helpful; it is nei-
        higher authority of their own reasoning.   ther necessary nor sufficient, but helpful.
        The critic asks, “How do you know the   Peter’s message on Pentecost is a model of
        Bible is true?” When the believer responds,   combining self-authenticating Scripture
        “Because it is the Word of God,” he asks   with historically verifiable facts about
        again, “But how do you know the Bible   the miracles, the death, and the resurrec-
        is the Word of God?” When the Christian   tion of Christ (Acts 2:22-28). In His first
        answers, “Because it is true,” the critic   letter, Peter later wrote, “In your hearts
        pounces: “That’s circular reasoning! You’re   honor Christ the Lord as holy, always be-
        assuming what you’re trying to prove.”  ing prepared to make a defense to anyone
                                             who asks you for a reason for the hope
          Unlike every other writing, however, the   that is in you” (1Peter 3:15, ESV). Paul
        Bible remains unruffled by this ambush,   reasoned from the Scriptures (e.g., Acts
        because it is not a dead letter dependent on   17:2) and asserted to Felix that the gospel
        human reasoning for its validity. Instead,   is a message of “true and rational words,”
        God’s Word is “living and active, [and]   for the historical events behind it did not
        sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb   transpire in some obscure corner (Acts
        4:12, ESV). The Spirit of God Who wrote   26:26). Although the Bible looks after itself,
        the Bible illuminates its meaning and   apologetics intrigues and engages people
        proves its truths (2Peter 1:21; John 16:13).   who otherwise might not be open to the
        The Word of God is, thus, self-authenti-  message. Tactically, we can clear initial
        cating; it contains within itself the proof   stumbling blocks from the sinner’s path
        of its divine origin, and thus requires no  by showing him the accuracy of Scripture
        additional proof.                    and the reasonableness of faith.
          Therefore, we don’t do apologetics be-  Marshalling evidence from history, ar-
        cause the authority of Scripture depends  cheology, and science makes a compelling
        on it; it doesn’t. The self-authenticating  case for the truthfulness of Scripture, and
        Word of God is not subject to any higher  skillful arguments that destroy skeptical
        authority. We do not use external sources to  claims are a credit to the gospel. If we

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