I am convinced we don’t read the Bible because we think its irrelevant. We believe it doesn’t answer the questions we are asking.
Francis Schaeffer, arguable one of the 20th centuries greatest Christian philosophers, doesn’t agree. He believes the Bible is just as relevant today as when it was first written. At a turning point in his life, he turned to God’s Word and found it answered the questions he was asking. Questions his liberally minded church weren’t answering. Here is how his biographer puts it:
As he read [Greek philosophy] he had a growing sense that he was gaining more questions but no answers. This awareness was reinforced when he realized that he experienced a similar situation in his church, which he later realized was influenced by theological liberalism…What he was getting in his church was a constant questioning, but no answers to the issues of life…
Having tasted the thinking of the ancient Greeks, he thought it was only fair to read through the Bible, something he had never done. He ought to give it a last chance. So it was that, night by night, alongside his reading of Ovid he began reading the Bible from the beginning (as a book, he thought this was the way to do it). He began with Genesis: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” and read to the very end: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (KJV).
In his reading of the Bible he was surprised to find unfolding answers to the deep philosophical questions he had begun to ask. The dawning excitement would never leave him.
Schaeffer’s experience is proof the Bible answers the questions we’re asking. It’s relevant. It’s useful. It’s life changing.
At this time in Schaeffer’s life, he was ready to write the Bible off. That is, until he read it. I believe that’s why we don’t believe the Bible is relevant. Why we don’t believe it answers the questions we’re asking – we haven’t read it. If we had, we would come to a completely different conclusion.
If you think the Bible is irrelevant, I challenge you to read it. Don’t write it off without giving it an honest chance. Schaeffer didn’t, and he became one of Christianity’s greatest minds.
Questions for Reflection
- Have you read God’s Word cover to cover?
- How has God’s Word proven relevant in your life?
Quote from Francis Schaeffer: an Authentic Life, by Colin Duriez, pg 20-21.