Notes from Andy Stanley’s talk “The Bible Told Me So“, part 3 (of 6) from the Who Needs God? series.
Do you find some of the Bible’s stories about God unsettling? Do you ever wonder how you can trust Jesus if it requires you to believe everything in the Bible is true? Does Christianity seem like a fragile house of cards that may tumble down in the face of scientific or archeological discovery? Before you abandon your faith, it’s worth exploring this question: What if the Bible isn’t the foundation of the Christian faith?
Jesus loves me this I know,
for the Bible tells me so.
Do you remember learning this when you were a kid?
Perhaps this phrase and perspective has caused you problems as you grew older.
If the Bible is the foundation of our faith, Christianity becomes a fragile house of cards. It’s all or nothing. If the whole Bible isn’t true, Christianity isn’t true.
The Bible is important, but it is not the foundation of our faith.
Christianity does not exist because of the Bible.
The Bible, and specifically the writings of the New Testament, document what happened. Christianity does not exist because of the Bible, any more than you exist because of your birth certificate.
During this message, Andy described in detail the timeline of when the Bible was written.
When describing the validity of the biblical Scriptures, Andy recommended the book Stealing from God by Frank Turek and encouraged reading Chapter 7, in which Turek makes the four-point case for the truth of Christianity:
- Does Truth Exist?
- Does God Exist?
- Are Miracles possible?
- Is the New Testament historically reliable?
Also, if you want to explore more about the validity of Jesus’ resurrection, I highly recommend the movie (and the book), The Case for Christ, which is currently playing on Netflix.
The Case for Christ
Bothered by his wife’s unyielding belief in Christianity, an investigative reporter sets out to use verifiable facts to poke holes in her faith.
The Bible is much more than just another history book.
We believe the Bible is God’s Word to all people. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the foundational source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without error.
But it is not a pre-requisite of faith in Jesus.
The New Testament believers did not have the Bible. They based their faith on the resurrection of Jesus. And it spread like crazy.
In fact, Christianity made its greatest strides during the 282 years before the Bible even existed.
Before the Old Testament and the New Testament were combined and titled the “Bible”, Christianity had already replaced the pantheon of Roman, Barbarian, and most Egyptian gods and was the state religion of the Roman empire.
For the first 300 years AD, the debate centered on an event not a book.
It was centered on the resurrection of Jesus.
Before the Old and New Testaments were combined and called the Bible, the debate about the Christian faith centered on an event, not a book. We believe Jesus rose from the dead, but not because the Bible says so. We believe because of the testimony of eyewitnesses who gave up everything— including their lives—because of their confidence in Jesus.
What role does the Bible play in your faith? If you read it, why do you read it? What does it contribute to your relationship with God? Here’s a simple way to read and understand the Bible.