“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (II Tim. 3:16,17).
I am sort of a hoarder of books. That is really strange especially since up to about 21 years of age I cannot remember having read a single book. I did read some material in public schools, and perhaps might have read an elementary book in its entirety, but I don’t recall doing so. But never did I go to the library, check out a book and read it. Nor did I ever buy a book. The first book that I remember reading was when for some reason my political interest was piqued, I then bought and struggled through “The Blue Book” by Robert Welch Jr. This led me to the writings of William F. Buckley Jr. who increased the struggle ten fold.
About that same time, I enrolled in the university to try for the education, of which, I had never before been interested. Well, a sudden transformation took place as I tested the water in taking one summer school class. Now, in spite of having previously read only one book, I instantly became a real intellectual. As I walked across the campus to class, I would occasionally stroke the newly grown beard, which was an intellectual necessity, and with a look of real concern, that included a furrowed brow, I was deep in thought, which was also necessary.
That was the beginning of my book buying, collecting and hoarding. During this time in my life, pre-Christian, I believed everything I read. If it was written by scholars who knew enough to get it printed, then surely it must be true. Besides that, books cost a lot of money and how could I get my money’s worth if I didn’t believe them? It took me many years, even after becoming a Christian, to realize that everyone who writes anything, with the oft exception of hard sciences, has an agenda. Their ideology is woven within the thought processes and more often than not disguised. Consider the following ideals of education.
Education is supposed to provide information that is “trustworthy”, however, only the naive will believe everything they read. Even the learned “wisdom” of a PhD can be based on foolishness. The “joy” of learning can become painful regrets of time wasted if based on lies (some current day nationally known authors will attest to that), and the “illumination” of truth can be a blinding illusion of error that possesses no “enduring” quality (today’s fact become tomorrow’s fiction). In my pagan days I was “sure” that my learning had a secular “redemptive”value that, in current slang, was “sweet.” I was becoming intellectually wealthy (or so I thought) beyond precious “gold.” But was it so?
Please take note: all of the previous paragraph’s “quotationed” words represent supposed benefits of education. If I were to distill them into one sentence, it would go something like this: “You can trust your education. As it provides you with increased wisdom you will experience the exhilaration of the joy of learning. You will begin to have insight into the truth at a depth that will give you pleasure for a lifetime. You can be sure that as your mind expands and develops, your journey out of ignorance and superstition will be more gratifying than wealth.” Do you recognize the key concepts?
The educated of history not only worshiped learning, but believed that education was the ticket to a successful and moral life. This ideology has only shown that regardless of the amount of education, “The heart is (without Christ) deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it (Jeremiah 17:9)?” Nothing is more of a threat than an educated criminal. Now, taking the same key word concepts placed within a Biblical context (I took them from this Biblical text) we have: “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb (Psalm 19:7-10).”
In taking these important Biblical concepts and plugging them into a secular educational context, we have what the world believes to be true. However, they are false promises. The same original concepts in the Biblical context can be relied upon for now and eternity. As they say, “You can take it to the bank.” It all has to do with believing that the Word of God is, in fact, the Word of God. The Bible rejects those who are forever learning but never come to the knowledge of the truth (II Tim. 3:7).
Well, just how do all of the promises of Psalm 19:7-10 come true? There have been renowned scholars of the world who spent their entire lives learning the Bible forwards and backwards in it’s original languages, and have not experienced the promises of Psalm 19:7-10. In fact such scholars and many others not-so-scholarly have concluded that the Bible is not true, in part or whole. The Bible teaches that there is a “veil” over the eyes of those who have not been born-again and is only removed by Christ. Only then can the printed word of the page become the Living Word in the heart and mind of the reader. It becomes sweeter than the honeycomb and a divine tutorial about living life, and of life itself, now and for eternity.
Every believer has experienced the “aha” moment when suddenly a scripture verse leaps from the pages of the Bible and grips the heart: God speaking directly to us. Liberal churches, increasingly, have abandoned the Bible as being the inerrant, infallible Word of God. And, also, tragically, too many self-identified born again “Christians” question the reliability of Scripture. The Word of God to them, rather then life giving, remains paper and ink.
A well known story relates the question asked, by students, of world renowned theologian Karl Barth. “Dr. Barth, what is the most profound truth you have learned in your studies?” He quickly answered, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Just how does one have such confidence that the Bible’s teaching both for now and eternity are all the things promised in Psalm 19:7-10? Along the same vein as Karl Barth, E.J. Young, another giant in the field of world renowned theologians stated, “How do we know that the New Testament is the Word of God. Our final persuasion of its divinity as well as that of the Old Testament lies in the testimony of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.” It really is very simple, God tells us it is true.