You probably are already aware that the God of the Judaeo/Christian Bible is becoming increasingly unpopular in the Western world. Notice this report, “In the Gallup Millennium Survey of Religious Attitudes (conducted in 1999) 49 per cent of Danes, 52 per cent of Norwegians and 55 per cent of Swedes said that ‘God did not matter to them at all’…Nearly two thirds of Czechs regard God as not mattering at all in their lives” (Niall Ferguson, Colossus, pages 236-237, Penguin, 2004).
This is not to pick on Scandinavia or Eastern Europe in particular. Many millions in other nations of the Western world share the same sad human condition.
For instance, the Judaeo/Christian Bible has been under severe attack in Britain and secular Europe for a very long time. The latest public outbreak is reflected in such headlines in England as “Hospitals ban the Bible”, “Christian hostel faces shutdown for having Bibles and saying grace”, and “Christian symbols disappear.” The first headline is a bit overstated as a final decision has not been reached as of this writing. But these newsbreaks are nonetheless just the latest symptoms of a long-running, debilitating trend.
The hostility to God and the Bible in some quarters is becoming almost unbelievable. It has even been said that Professor “Richard Dawkins’ attacks on religion are so bad-tempered they give atheism a bad name” (The Guardian). And according to a feature article in The Times, “God is being edited out of education lessons in schools for fear that His presence might bore children.” How pitiful!
The story of biblical heroes is now being told without any reference to God. For instance, the account of the patriarch Joseph in Genesis is related without any mention of the 50 references to God in the actual text. Obviously God does not matter to many of today’s educators.
How about you?
Does the Creator matter in your life in any significant way? Or do you ignore what He tells you in His Word while possibly simultaneously giving Him lip service?
I wish everyone could read and appreciate the beginning words of the late Christian scholar G. Ernest Wright in The Book of the Acts of God. He explains, “Christianity has always held that the Bible is a very special book, unlike any other book in the world. It is the most important of all books because in it, and in it alone, the true God has made Himself known to man with clarity. The world is full of sacred literature and it is full of gods. But in the vast confusion the one source that can be relied upon for truth is the Bible.
“There we are told about events which brought the church into being, and the purpose for its being. There we encounter the answer to the meaning of our lives and of the history in which we live. There the frightening gulf between our weak, ignorant and mortal lives and the infinity of power and space is really bridged. There we discover our duty defined and our God revealed” (p. 13, Pelican, 1957, emphasis added).
How well put! But Mr. Wright wrote back in 1957 and things have radically altered for the worst since then. No wonder our young people today have trouble coping with the anxieties of modern life. They are for the most part not being taught the true biblical fundamentals in either religious education classes or in the home.
The Hebrew prophet Hosea once warned his own nation, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Adjacent passages show that the very knowledge of God is what he meant. And his warning is very applicable to us today.
This revealed knowledge is as relevant and up-to-date today as it was when it was originally composed by the prophets and apostles as the text of the Bible. It is the knowledge that helps us understand the reasons for the peril and confusion of this present age in which live.
But for it to have meaning to you personally you need believable evidence that the Bible can be proved to be God’s word—that its divine inspiration can be not only tested but also demonstrated. And it is equally important that you understand how the Bible’s teachings relate to your personal life in this confusing modern age.