What the Bible Says About the Bible: Introduction and Purpose

February 15th, 2009

Recently, I heard about a book called 'The Shape of Faith' by Brad Waggoner. It was written after a survey was taken to see just what Christians today really believe. The results are troubling. If statistical studies intrest you, buy the book. There are some very basic principles that we all need to evaluate for ourselves, and in the way we share our faith with others.

Before I even finished the first chapter I could see that we Christians are dropping the ball in teaching Bible truths. By the end of the next chapter, I was intrigued enough to write down the 7 points of faith that the author suggests should peg out the needle of our faith-o-meter. It didn't stop there, he further broke down the top 12 questions that should produce clear results by anyone, of any Christian denomination.

Below is my real quick summary of those points. Over the next few days I want to look at matters concerning the Bible. Why? because no matter what the topic, teaching, or doctrine in the Christian faith, scholars can pour out lists of scriptural cross references. What the Bible says about God, what the Bible says about sin, what the Bible says aboutour planet, about money, and the list goes on.
The Bible is the definitive source of all things religious. So, if a person can't believe the Bible is 100% true and infallible, there is no basis for anything in religion. No matter how much a person wants to believe a thing is true.

The Bible is not all encompassing. In that, I mean that it doesn't make direct mention of certain things. Either because that thing or behavior wasn't invented yet, wasn't done yet, or just wasn't an issue. Things like computers, technology, and all our behavior that surrounds them, but our basic human behavior and how we relate to others is most definitely mentioned. Even in issues not specifically outlined in the Bible, we can derive what our morality should be on issues such as abortion, or smoking. We can derive from evidence in the Bible certain doctrines about the Trinity, or other doctrinal points that came about after the Bible as we have it came into being.

Based on those 7 points of faith mentioned in the book, and the 12 top questions, I started putting together some cross reference material. I don't know how far I will get, but I mainly wanted to take a few days to read what the Bible says about the Bible.

Here's the list, so you know what to anticipate, or if anybody wants to pick something and post their own area where God is speaking to them.

1. God-inspired accuracy of the Bible
2. Reality of Satan
3. Personal responsibility to share Christ with others
4. Importance of Christianity in their daily lives
5. View of Jesus as sinless on earth
6. View of God as all-knowing, all-powerful deity
7 View of salvation as by grace alone

As a Christian, these are basic questions that all should be getting a 'Strongly Agree' on their importance. To not strongly agree with one or more, it may be time to pick up your Bible and search for yourself. Rediscover what you believe.

Again, my main resource for my quest in this study is the Bible. If you can't believe it, why bother with the rest? If the information that you base beliefs on all the rest is from other sources, you are allowing the worlds beliefs to seep into your Christianity. The Christ that you think you know isn't the same one that I know.

Here are the 12 questions that were used to back up those 7 points of faith. These should be clear cut "no brainer' questions with solid answers. Depending on the denomination, some more solid than others.

1. Is the Bible Accurate?
How much do you agree/disagree:
The Bible is the written Word of God and is totally
accurate in all that it teaches?
Strongly Agree: 54% Agree: 18%

2. Salvation: What Is It?
How much do you agree/disagree:
Christians must continually work toward their
salvation or risk losing it?
Strongly Disagree: 23% Disagree: 10%

3. Salvation: How Do I Obtain It?
How much do you agree/disagree:
Eternal salvation is possible through God’s grace
alone; nothing we do can earn salvation?
Strongly Agree: 58% Agree: 14%
(Among specifically SBC responces) Strongly Agree: 78%

4. Is Jesus the Only Way?
How much do you agree/disagree: If a person is
sincerely seeking God, he/she can obtain eternal life
through religions other than Christianity?
Strongly Disagree: 32% Disagree: 8%
(SBC) Strongly Disagree: 46%

5. Was I Born a Sinner?
How much do you agree/disagree:
Every person is born a sinner due to the sin of Adam
being passed on to all persons?
Strongly Agree: 56% Agree: 15%

6. Did Jesus Literally Rise from the Dead?
How much do you agree/disagree: Jesus died on the
cross and was physically resurrected from the dead?
Strongly Agree: 72% Agree: 12%

7. The Trinity
How much do you agree/disagree: There is one
true God who reveals Himself to humanity as God
the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit
(commonly referred to as the Trinity)?
Strongly Agree: 70% Agree: 13%

8. Jesus: Was He Sinless?
How much do you agree/disagree: Jesus may have
committed sins while in human form on earth?
Strongly Disagree: 54% Disagree: 6%
(SBC) 76%

9. Is God in Full Control?
How much do you agree/disagree: God is the
all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect Deity who created
the universe and still rules it today?
Strongly Agree: 74% Agree: 12%

10. Will Jesus Christ Return as He Left?
How much do you agree/disagree: Christ will return a
second time to gather believers to Himself?
Strongly Agree: 67% Agree: 13%

11. Is Satan Real?
How much do you agree/disagree:
Satan is a real being,
not just a symbol of evil?
Strongly Agree: 58% Agree: 14%

12. What about Hell?
How much do you agree/disagree: There is a literal
place called hell?
Strongly Agree: 54% Agree: 16%

The author allows that not everybody has full understanding, and are at various points in their learning and belief. He recommends that if a Christian who goes to church regularly, at least once per month, answers as many as 3 of these questions with less than a 'strongly' agree or disagree depending on the negative or positive nature of the question, it is time to reevaluate personal beliefs.

My suggestion is that if you look at the questions and can't figure out which way they are expected to go to, an expected agree or disagree, you might have a problem with what true Christianity really is.

The sad thing is that with some of these questions, there is only a 25% to 30% who gave those strong agree or disagree statements.

So, if you are a new person to the faith and a lot of these issues are still questionable in your mind, don't feel alone. Here's everybody's chance to give a look at the study I am about to post in the comfort and privacy of where ever you do your computing. Hopefully new Christians will be led to develop clear ideas of what the Bible teaches about these points. For those who have been Christians for a while, even those who may be teachers in church, here's the chance to be guided to present to your Sunday School class, or other Bible study group the foundational truths of Christianity. Somehow, it isn't being taught, or it isn't sinking in for people and being made relevant to them.

I'll try to stick to these points mentioned above. If I stray, or manage to not cover an area well, use the comment form on the web page, or send me an email directly. Anybody can comment, but to view profile information, you will probably need to log in. Send a request to: webmaster@altamontfirstbaptist.org for an account.

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