The Doctrine of the Bible

It is not the things I don’t understand about the Bible that bother me. It’s the things I do understand.
Mark Twain

Let me tell you about the last flight of the Lady Be Good, an airplane, a bomber that had seen many successful wartime missions and was out one night on a familiar bombing run. As she flew back toward home base, the crew knew how long it usually took to make the trip.

Tonight, however, there was a powerful tailwind hurtling the massive craft through the air much faster than normal. As the crew plotted their position according to their instruments, they concluded that there must be something wrong with the dials. Their instruments and calculations told them it was time to break down through the cloud layer and land. Their watches and clocks, however, told them this was impossible.

This placed them in a precarious position. If they believed their instruments and came down through the cloud layer too soon, they might be spotted by the enemy and shot down with antiaircraft fire. If they believed their clocks and came down too late, they would overshoot the airfield and perish in the desert beyond.

They chose to ignore the instruments and believe their gut-level hunch. They stayed up. They overshot the airfield and their plane was found days later, crashed in the desert. All the crew had perished.

The story of the Lady Be Good is a microcosm of life. We are all on the Lady Be Good, and we are all in flight. In making the determination on where and when to land we have to make decisions. And for those decisions we must choose whether we look outside ourselves . . . whether we trust our gut-level hunches or whether we look for an instrument panel.

The Bible offers itself as the source of truth. The Bible presents itself as the great, cosmic “instrument panel.” It tells us where we came from, where we are, and where we are going. It is up to us to decide whether we accept the “readings” we get from it.
The Bible does not defend itself. It was written to people who accepted its message and therefore spends little time convincing its readers of its authenticity. Charles Spurgeon once said, “The Bible does not need to be defended any more than a caged lion needs to be defended. All we need to do is let it out of its cage, and it will defend itself.”

The fundamental assertion that the Bible makes concerning itself is that, in spite of the human collaboration in the writing of it, the Bible is a revelation of God to man, it was written without error, and it can be trusted to reveal truth to us regarding God, man, life, and death.

Max E. Anders

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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