Yesterday I had the privilege to preach at our church on this very important question.
“How can I know the Bible is true?”
It is a question of foundations, how do we really know. In universities and seminaries this is called epistemology, but I never dropped that word bomb in my sermon. For us, its just real life. How do we know the bible is true, as well anything at all? Can we really have certainty on anything!
My answer is ultimately, YES, we can!
You can listen to my sermon for the full audio on this topic.
You can also keep reading for the main points I’m trying to make.
There are many ways to tackle this question.
I outline the 1) Personal Experience Standard, 2) Just have Faith Approach, 3) The Bible says it Method, 4) Textual Uniqueness, 5) External Evidences, 6) Internal Divine Insights, – all of which have strengths and weaknesses.
The most powerful explanation I have found for certitude on the Truth of Scripture is in its exclusive ability to provide a foundation for Reason and Morality. The Bible alone explains why we can trust our own understanding and our sense of right and wrong.
- The primordial soup of evolution has no basis to really trust the chemicals in our brain, yet we do.
- The doubt of the atheists and agonists destroys any confidence to trust their own knowledge, yet they do.
- Other religions have contradictory foundations for truth, yet they still trust our ability to know.
Only the Bible presents an accurate picture of reality. Carl Henry nails it as he astutely writes,
“But the nature of truth is such that the Christian revelation is formally intelligible to all men; it convincingly overlaps ineradicable elements of every man’s experience, and offers a more consistent, more comprehensive, and more satisfying explanation to the meaning and worth of life than do other views.” (GRA I, 238)
This worldview is one in which logic and reason are rooted in the Image of God. Genesis 1:27 says in His image he created us, male and female.
The bible shows that God Himself is the standard to judge all things. Col. 2:3 “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Logic has its root in the person of God. The Bible reveals this to us.
The way in which God’s mind works is purely logical; Titus 1:2.- “for God cannot lie”, also in 1 Cor. 14:33 “God is not a God of confusion.”
Without the Bible we would not have a firm foundation from which we could know anything! If we dismiss the bible, how do we account for the logic we depend on for every thought or discussion?
We count on the laws of logic to never change, why is that?
Because God never changes. Micah 3:6 says, “I the Lord do not change.” James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
We are rational beings having rational thoughts right now because God is who he says he is, and we know this through the Bible.
Morality is equally rooted in the person of God as revealed in the bible.
The bible has revealed a God who is Good and a world that is fallen. Every person and every society of all time has had a sense of right and wrong. Where did this come from? Why do we even seek for truth rather than a lie?
Because we were created in the image of God.
The bible does not ignore the evil in our world or make excuses, but explains it. We see ourselves for who we really are as we read its pages. We find the answer to the problem of evil through the redemptive plan of God to rescue us from that evil. All of this is revealed in the bible. It accurately describes our reality.
What anchors our understanding of Good?
Psalm 100:5 “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever”. Psalm 136:1 “give thanks to God for he is Good”. In John 10 Jesus is called the “Good Shepard”. And yet we know that we are not Good, which is affirmed in the bible. Jeremiah 17:9 “the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked”. Mark 7 talks about the sinfulness of man does not comes from just his mouth, but from his heart. Romans 3:23 rightly says, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
The understanding of right and wrong is not a herd mentality or social construct, but it is written on our hearts by our Creator.
Apart from the bible we have no foundation for the reality that we all live in and accept as truth every moment of every day.
Why is there reason and rationality? Why is there right and wrong? God has revealed why in the bible.
How do we know the bible is true?
If it is not true, we have no foundation to make sense of reality as we know it. Without presuming the truth of the bible, we cannot prove anything else.
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” -CS Lewis