Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Bible

Sometimes I feel that I have been drawn closer to my earthly father now even more than when he was with us. How? Through the books that he read. I have told you before about "A Box of Old Books". Well...I’ve run across another. Sometimes you read something that you must immediately share. Such is the case with the following verbatim quote from a recently discovered book in the box:

From Leander S. Keyser, "A System of Christian Evidence", 1924 Third Edition Revised. And..lest you jump to the wrong conclusions regarding the word "evidence" in the title let me preface with Keyser’s own quote, "Human reason cannot give the final word of assurance in matters of religion. Experience proves this; for, however expert the Christian apologist may be, he cannot convert men by reason;...the Holy Spirit must give the assurance of truth, pardon and salvation": (below...are his thoughts on The Bible)

The Bible a Special Divine Revelation

1. The Probability of a Special Divine Revelation.
If there is a personal God, the probability that He would reveal Himself in a personal way is very great. He has, indeed, revealed Himself more or less clearly in nature and reason; but surely He would scarcely think a general, impersonal revelation sufficient for His rational creatures. This would be particularly true if they should fall into sin and danger. Why would He not go to their rescue? An earthly parent would. Moreover, should not every one be glad to believe that God has come to man’s help in a clear, definite, loving way, just as the Bible reveals? One would think that all persons would welcome such a revelation and rejoice in it as good news indeed.

2. The Possibility of a Special Divine Revelation.
A being who could not reveal Himself above the natural order of His creation would be a very limited being, and therefore could not be God. If this great universe is in the hands of a helpless God, we are of all creatures most hopeless and miserable. Who can or will believe that this cosmos is built on such irrational principles?

3. The Need of a Special Divine Revelation.
The status of the heathen world proves this need. They have had the light of nature and reason to guide them through all the centuries. Has the result been satisfactory? Is there even an unbeliever who would care to exchange our civilization for theirs, or, if he had to make a choice, who would prefer their religions to the Christian religion? Perhaps God has left them to their own ways without special revelation partly to prove to the world that such a revelation is necessary.

So far as regards the philosophers, observe the vagueness and uncertainty of their teaching and speculations; their inability to solve the very problems that are most vital to human welfare—the problems of sin, of pardon, salvation, immortality, etc. Plato speculated about sin, but could come to no definite conclusion; he did not know whether the gods could forgive sin, and even if they could, whether they ought. He also expressed the hope that some time a special divine revealtion would be vouchsafed to mankind because of the great uncertainty of human reason. Moreover, no two philosophers agree; in fact most of them undermine one another’s speculations......The status of heathen religions and the lack of consensus among philosophers certainly demonstrate the need of a special divulgence from God.

4. Why God made a Book
Books are the best method of preserving the truth in its integrity and transmitting it from generation to generation. Memory and tradition are very untrustworthy. Therefore God acted with the greatest wisdom and also in the normal way, giving His revelation to men in book form. In no other way, so far as we can see, could He have imparted to mankind an infallible norm that would be available for everybody, and that would continue intact throughout the ages, and from which all people could procure the same standard of faith and practice. Subjective experience would be too obscure and variable unless it were directed by a higher and more certain authority. A universal standard must be an objective one; therefore a book.

Keyser concludes this section with these words: If we reject the Bible we must admit that we know little or nothing about God, creation, man’s origin, design and destiny, the cause and raison d’etre of sin and suffering, and of a way of salvation. The door of the future is shut down against us, and we beat against it in vain. A well-known non-Christian scientist declared not long ago that the origin of man is wrapped in complete obscurity. Then, if we know nothing of man’s origin, we know nothing of his purpose and his destiny. Thus without the Bible the universe is indeed a "riddle," as the materialist Haeckel has called it. All is gloom, uncertainty, nihilism.

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