This is part four of a multi-part series on “He Has Spoken,” a study published by the Colson Center. This post discusses the third presentation and discussion in the five lesson DVD curriculum. This lecture is titled “The Big Picture: Grasping the Purposes of Scripture.”
Any lecture which opens with a T. S. Elliot quote gets my attention, and this one is no exception. Elliot said there were two questions we ask when we find something new: what can I do with it, and what is it for? Of course, what is it for (what is its purpose) is the most important question. This reminds me of Captain James T. Kirk’s comment in The Wrath of Kahn: “You have to know why things work on a starship.”
To me, the Bible answers the “what is it for” question for itself in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God[a] may be complete, equipped for every good work.” The Bible is for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness.
John Stonestreet’s answer is that the Bible is a unique interpretation of historical events that shows history is about God, not us. All of reality is about God.
According to Stonestreet, the big picture of the Bible is contained in three great truths: God Exists, Humans answer to God, and Jesus Christ is King
His discussion emphasizes that we are responsible to God for our behavior, we have sinned against God, and Christ has made a way for us to be forgiven.
Stonestreet’s discussion with T. M. Moore centers on the Christian life as a war, and Scripture as a chief weapon in that war. The Word of God is “the Sword of the Spirit.” It helps us to “make progress” in the cultural war we find ourselves in. This is a spiritual war.
The purpose of this curriculum is not to defend the propositions, just to explain them. We already saw in an earlier article that they referred us to www.str.org (Stand to Reason) for that defense. STR is a great resource for Christians. I find that I spend much of my time presenting arguments for the veracity of Scripture.
This is important because our culture increasingly does not treat the Bible as any kind of authority. We must learn to present the clear, careful arguments that demonstrate Scripture to be true (I have presented some here.) We cannot ‘lose the war’ by allowing our chief weapon to be disabled in the eyes of our culture.
Of course, the Bible is never really disabled. The Holy Spirit can always use the words of Scripture to melt the most hardened heart. But we cannot neglect our responsibility to give a reason for the hope that we have (1 Peter 15-16).
Stonestreet notes that our culture also sees the statement of truth that is true for all people as a “violent” activity. He is right about our culture. Moore says we are simply stating what the Bible says, not imposing our values or forcing them down other’s troughs. We stand in a powerful tradition that sees the Bible as true. Of course, we should expect those around use to use other ‘weapons’ against us in this war of words.
We should expect to be maligned, even persecuted, as we affirm the truths of Scripture. We can prepare for this by getting some good Christian friends around us. We “need the strength of our communities.” We must always show love to those we confront with the truth of Scripture.
The next post in this series will follow soon. We will look at the next lecture and discussion in this curriculum.