Written by: Lehman Strauss, LITT.D., F.R.G.S.
It was our privilege to have Lehman Strauss on a number of occasions at Sherwood. Lehman was a gifted Bible teacher and author. Most of his material is now out of print. If you find one of his books or commentaries, pick it up. It will be a valuable addition to your library.
Across the street from our campus, we own a guest house, ‘The Strauss House’ for our visiting ministers. We have named it in his honor as we believe that churches should honor the traveling minister. It is where Dr. Strauss wrote his last book.
I hope you will enjoy this four part article from Dr. Strauss. He loved and cherished his Bible. It was evident in his preaching, teaching and writing. It is my prayer that these articles will encourage you to stand true to the Word of God.
The question of biblical authority is a burning one, so much so that to some theologians and preachers it is too hot to handle. Some writers, reportedly of high intellectual and spiritual standing, look upon the Bible as a book which, to them, is obviously marked by inconsistency, historical inaccuracy and self-contradiction. They see the Bible as containing but not as being the Word of God. While they are telling us that the Bible contains errors, incorrect dates and fictitious authorships, they claim that in this Book one may find the Word of God. These men say they are our brethren in Christ, and some of them might be, but I find it very hard to identify myself with such teachers and teaching.
While this book is being written wholly from a preacher’s point of view, it is set forth in non-academic, non-professional, and non-technical terms. It is addressed to both pulpit and pew. I am fully persuaded that every Christian should study the Bible with the view to gaining true knowledge about God. He must read and study diligently this Grand Old Book. This is not optional but obligatory. We need this incomparable and indispensable Book for a right understanding of the origin of the universe and man, the great redemptive work of God culminating in the Advent, Atonement, Ascension, and Second Advent of His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We need the Bible to teach us how to live right and to prepare for death and eternity. We need this Book to tell us of future events, how this age will end, the final overthrow of evil and destructive powers, and the coming Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
The Bible is our one standard text-book, our safe and sane rule of faith and practice, our final court of appeal. True, the goal of understanding is not easily reached, nor will we know it perfectly in this life, but we must obey the command which, though addressed first to Timothy, applies to every Christian: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15). We must study this Book of all books because Christianity is again at the crossroads, and we Christians are compelled to choose the road upon which we will travel. It will not be an easy matter for some to make the right choice. The road map, the signposts and the guide books have been tampered with to intentionally lead us astray. But if the earnest seeker for truth will give himself to a careful reading and study of the Bible, he will not travel the wrong road nor come to the wrong destination.
What is the Bible? Let the minister, and all men, settle this question once and for all time. Do not presume to know what the Bible is until you have exercised yourself diligently to discover exactly what it is. Beware of your own prejudices, misconceptions and ignorance. Too long the Bible has been misrepresented. Millions of young people have been brainwashed by infidels and atheists who have never taken the time to attempt to understand the Bible. It is criticized and condemned by those who know the least about it. A professor in a state university apologized to his students for the Bible, as he said, “‘We all admit there are scientific errors in the Bible. However, we can excuse these errors on the ground that the Bible was not intended to be, nor is it, a textbook on science, so let us not look for scientific accuracy in such a book.” I react strongly against the blasphemous statement that “there are scientific errors in the Bible.” If the Bible is not scientifically accurate, then it cannot be, to me at least, the Word of God.
The most serious and intense struggle in which the Christian Church has ever engaged is the war over the Word of God. If this war could be lost, our faith and hope in God would be destroyed and every witness for Christ would likewise be destroyed. The Apostle Paul warned of the coming war against the Word of God. Here is his statement to the elders in the assembly at Ephesus: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:28-30). And in his final written message before his death, he added, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. . . Evil men and seducers (or imposters) shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (II Timothy 3:1,13).
Paul’s prophecy of the coming conflict came to pass, and the struggle becomes more intense and more serious with every passing day. While the imposters and deceivers multiply, the exhortation stands which say’s, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works”. (II Timothy 3:14-17).
The late James Orr, a distinguished Bible scholar, reportedly predicted at the turn of the century that the theological battle of the twenty-first century will be fought around the fortress of the worth and authority of Holy Scripture. We are in the thick of that battle today. Is the Bible the Word of God or is it the work of man? For myself I cannot see how the Bible can possibly be the product of man’s efforts. If the Bible is confined to human thought, then why is there only one such book? Whatever man has produced in the past he has reproduced with improvements. Many attempts have been made to paraphrase and revise the Bible, but no man has ever attempted to write a Bible of his own.
The questions which relate to life here and hereafter can be answered with satisfaction only after we have proved to ourselves whether or not the Bible is a true revelation from God. There are leaders in various branches of religion who admit to Divine revelation in nature and through reason, but who deny a super-natural revelation in writing. The natural theology of the deist may be good as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough. God has revealed Himself in nature, to be sure, but such a limited revelation has in it no solution to the problem of evil. Christian belief cannot be satisfied with a limited revelation of God derived from the light of nature and the processes of human reasoning. Man needs the Bible!
©Lifeline Publications, currently out of print, please do not reproduce other than for your personal use. Used by permission.
2ProphetU is an online magazine/website, started by Warren Wiersbe and Michael Catt, to build up the church, seek revival, and encourage pastors.
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