Denise, one of my former students, wrote a short summary years ago of why she chose to trust in the Bible. She started by saying that she grew up with a lot of exposure to the authority and reliability of Scripture. By age six, she was pretty familiar with many Bible stories. Her parents and church helped her learn to wrestle with hard questions, even as she learned the song, “The B-I-B-L-E, yes, that’s the book for me.”
She could not imagine what it was like for her mother, who did not grow up with a positive view of the Bible. Her mother received her first Bible during her first year of college from some eager Christians reaching out to new students coming to campus. The impact this gesture had on her character and life is a reminder of the profound truths it holds. Once so new to her, it has been always been so familiar to Denise.
Denise found that taking in the words of Scripture through her own reading, her parents’ modeling, the nurturing of youth leaders and pastors, as well as her experience in Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship helped her to develop a high view of the Bible. She realized the meta-narrative of the Bible (Creation-Fall-Redemption-Consummation) provided a framework to understand God’s great global rescue operation. She learned about the value of the covenant God has with Israel in the Old Testament, and the new covenant Jesus launched with his life, death, resurrection, and ascension. She has seen how the Word of God shaped and molded her life. Her discipline of reading a chapter of Proverbs a day during her entire life provided wisdom and understanding beyond her years.
Denise told me she believes in the significance of the Bible on its own merits. She believes in its personal claims, its protected text, its proven accuracy, its varied genres, and its profound impact, not only on her life, but on millions of others as well. She has stated on many occasions that she has not found a reason to distrust Scripture.
Denise has doubts like many of us, due to the challenges and difficulties of life. She realizes there are hard questions we must face that do not have simplistic answers like, “well, just trust what the Bible says.” Yet her response to hard questions and times of doubt is to look to the person she has learned to trust the most – God himself. Her knowledge of Him is found on the greatest selling book of all time – the Bible.
She learned not to evaluate God’s character through the circumstances she encounters, but to evaluate and assess her circumstances through God’s character. She argues that God as Creator, made humankind in His image, and desires intimate relationship with his creatures. He is good, kind, faithful, loving, and wise. He is Savior, Lord, and King.
Learning about God as a child had led her on a journey of discovery. She has walked with God and her friendship has deepened. She reads and studies the books God wrote (the Bible and nature) with relentless passion. She trusts in the God who provided salvation from sin, restored relationship with the Creator, and power to live a meaningful life.
Her grandfather said, “the Bible will separate you from sin, or else sin will separate you from the Bible. By the study of God’s Book, you can be saved, sanctified, and satisfied.” Denise will tell you that her grandfather’s words have guided her life. Walk wisely.
Love is a verb,