Is the Bible Still Relevant?
The Bible, the Word of God, some question its historical accuracy, others question its fallibility. Many question the need to live in accordance with it while others choose to live in spite of it. In the midst of all the questions, a great many have chosen to follow the Bible and adhere to its precepts. Its influence has endured over time, defying the barriers of language and overcoming the boundaries of culture and tradition. Some have died to preserve it, some enjoy freedom because of it, but the question for today is, is it still relevant?
To answer that, we have to first define just what we mean when we say relevant. Second, we need to define what the Bible really is. Relevant is defined as being appropriate for the current time, period, or circumstances. So, when we ask about the relevance of the Bible, we are asking whether or not it is appropriate for our current time and in our current circumstances. There are several aspects to the definition of the Bible. First, it is a written account of God’s plan for the redemption of fallen man. Every part of the Bible, every book written, every story told, and every person mentioned points toward a singular focal point, Jesus, the Lamb of God, slain to take away the sins of the world.
Second, the Bible is a manual for living a Godly life. Interwoven in the narrative of Jesus are principles and precepts that the children of God (the Nation of Israel in the Old Testament and Christians, beginning in the Book of Acts, in the New Testament) are to live by. These principles and precepts are given for two primary reasons: to teach God’s children how to relate to their heavenly Father and to provide God’s children a plan for living a life that brings glory to Him.
Finally, the Bible is one of the ways in which God has chosen to reveal Himself to man. God reveals Himself in two primary ways, general revelation and special revelation. General revelation is God revealing Himself to all mankind. The primary example of general revelation is all of Creation.
Psalm 19:1 says, “the heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of His hands,”(NIV).
God also reveals Himself through special revelation. Special revelation is God revealing Himself to specific people or groups of people. The best example of this is the Bible. This is summed up eloquently in one passage of Scripture, Hebrews 1:1-2. “Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, He has spoken to us through His Son…”
So the Bible is God revealing Himself and His plan of redemption to man. In addition, it is man’s manual for living a Godly life. Is the Bible appropriate for our current time and circumstances? The short answer is a resounding yes! The longer answer is that fallen man is in need of redemption just as much today as he was 2000 years ago. As long as sin exists, the need for redemption will exist. When we question the relevance of the Bible, we are really questioning its authority, not its appropriateness. When we say, “Is the Bible relevant,” we are really saying, “Does the Bible have the right to tell me that I can’t live the way that I want to live or do the things I want to do?” The relevance or validity of the Bible has not changed, culture has changed; people have changed. In the postmodern society that we currently reside, absolute truth is an affront to what people hold most dear, the right to decide what is right.
I think the word relevance is a smokescreen, a way to hide what is really being questioned. Its easy to point to the parables and examples used in Scripture as proof of irrelevance because they were written by men who lived in a society that was much different than ours. The truth of the matter is that the nature of man has not changed, just the methods used to satisfy man’s nature. Saying that the Bible is not relevant is more palatable than saying that it has no authority because relevance, at its root, is a question of personal opinion (and who are you to tell me what to think), while authority is a question of fact, and that which we hold as fact cannot simply be questioned to be changed, it must be disproved.
So my question for you today is not do you think the Bible is still relevant, but does the Bible have authority in you life and in the lives of others? If your answer is yes, are you living proof of its authority? Think about it and let me know your thoughts. You can leave a comment here, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or talk to me on Facebook: facebook.com/jnblizzardministries/