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How to Respond When Someone Says "I Believe in God, But the Bible is Outdated"

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Truth Endures Forever

Some assert that the Bible is too old or outdated. Considering that the most recent writings of the Bible that we call the the New Testament were all written prior to the end of the first century, this assertion is easy to create.

However, the age of the Bible isn’t how we should evaluate its authority or relevance. Instead, truth must be the main criteria.

The entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, stands as the only infallible, inerrant Word of God.

However the Bible, as it turns out, is more relevant than tomorrow’s newspaper. Our view of the Bible must fall into line with the God-man, Jesus Christ, who was buried and resurrected.

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Therefore, Christians must believe what the Son of God says about the Word of God: “Your word is truth,” (John 17:17, ESV). The Bible doesn’t merely contain truth, it is truth.

What is Truth?

So, how do we sort through the truth and therefore the relevance of, the Bible? Pontius Pilate began with the simple question, “What is truth?” (John 18:38, ESV).

Every argument for truth appeals to a higher standard of authority to ground its authenticity.

Do you believe the Bible is living and active and still relevant for us today?

Therefore, while biological sciences, astronomical discoveries, medical facts, outside secular (extrabiblical) sources, and even historical places and persons can be used to confirm the constant and unwavering truthfulness of the Bible — they cannot be our ultimate appeal to truth.

If so, then they would be shown to be standard of truth by which we judge and hold the Bible under.

When we find differences in belief between ourselves and the Bible, we are the problem not the Bible. God’s Word is the ruler by which all other claims are seen as falling short, crooked, and in need of reproof.

Instead, Jesus Christ claimed to be the standard of truth (John 14:6, ESV).

He clearly teaches us that He will judge the world (John 5:24, ESV) and the biblical authors themselves state that in Christ are “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” because he is the final word (Colossians 2:3; Hebrews 1:1-2, ESV).

Remembering God's Deeds

The Apostles preached that the resurrection of Jesus is the public demonstration of His power and authority to judge the world (cf. Acts 17:31). Only the Bible is the breathed out Word from God (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21, ESV).

Living and Active

The Bible then claims to be living and active (Hebrews 4:12, ESV). The Word of God reflects the very nature of God: unchanging (Hebrews 13:8; cf. Psalm 119:160, ESV).

O reader! Open the Book and it shall open your heart. Upon reading the Bible, you shall find it reading you.

The Bible answers the most important questions in the world:

  • The undeniable evidence of the true God’s existence (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 19:1-2; Romans 1:18-20).
  • The reason why humans, and anything, exists (Isaiah 43:7; Romans 11:36; Revelation 4:11).
  • The explanation for the nature of man’s sinful condition, death, suffering, pain, and the feeling of unsatisfaction in the world (Genesis 3:1-19; Psalm 51:5; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:18-22).
  • The necessity of judgment and justice for our sinfulness and guilt before the Judge of all the earth, to whom we must give account (Ecclesiastes 12:14; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:11-15).

And, the Bible gives us the remedy to these realities:

  • The sin-bearing, guilt-removing, and judgment-absorbing substitutionary death of Jesus Christ, the God-man, in the place of sinners (Isaiah 53; John 1:1-3, 14; Romans 5:8-10; 1 Peter 2:22-25).
  • The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead as a real, historical event (Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8)
  • The promise of God to forgive, reconcile, and save everyone who repents and believes upon Jesus Christ for their salvation as evidenced by a life in keeping with repentance (Mark 1:15; John 3:16-18; 1 John 1:5-2:6).

The Bible gives light to darkened minds; life to the spiritually dead. It wounds and heals; it humbles and exalts; it shows us our sin and shows us our Savior.

It crushes hard hearts and heals broken hearts. The Word of God remains unchanging while ever-changing us.

God is eternal and the only source of life and truth; and therefore, its relevance endures throughout all generations. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8, ESV).

If you want to hear your Creator speak, read your Bible. Where the Bible speaks, God speaks.

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Cale is the pastor of Union Baptist Church in Orrick, MO. He is married to his wife Kelly and they have two children (third on the way!). Cale will be graduating with a Masters degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary this Fall and Spring 2023.
Cale is the pastor of Union Baptist Church in Orrick, MO. He is married to his wife Kelly and they have two children (third on the way!). Cale will be graduating with a Masters degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary this Fall and Spring 2023.

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