Matthew R. Perry

Why Do Christians Hold to Such an Old Book? (Introduction)

In Church Life on September 24, 2007 at 12:24 pm

(You may listen to this sermon in its entirety by clicking here. This was preached at the Boone’s Creek Baptist Church, Lexington, KY on 23 September 2007.)

In our culture, ‘old’ is out. When it comes to fashion and trends, to be told “Uh… that is sooo yesterday” is a death knell for that particular product.
Now, there are certain things that come back into style (remember the bellbottoms a few years ago which came back from the 1970s?), they seem to just as quickly get out of style. “New” is in — ‘old’ is out.

Yet, here we are meeting in this place. Here I am and here you are, I pray, with something rather old in your hands. Older than your wedding ring. Older than this building. Older than this church. Older than this country. We’re talking old. This book you have in your hand called the Bible goes way back. The oldest portion of the Scriptures could go back to as far as 1600
B.C. with the book of Job. The newest portion of this was written by the Apostle John somewhere between A.D. 85 and 90. These forty authors from different cultures and backgrounds and occupations find themselves writing various types of literature (history, poetry, biographies, letters, works about the end times, etc.) which all of us hold as something significant and special. And yes, I’ll even say ‘authoritative.’

This is the rub for many people. For our culture, ‘new’ is authoritative and
old is antiquated and outdated and to be relegated solely for a past day — not for today. We wouldn’t think of using a 50, 100, or even 200 year old anatomy book when considering surgery. Our math teachers here wouldn’t
pull out a 500 year old mathematics book as the main textbook in teaching
geometry. Each of these fields (and others) are constantly being updated with new advances — so why not Christianity? Why do we still use the same manual, the same ‘textbook’ as always? 

The reason stands on our conviction that this book is not simply a textbook, a history book, a manual for living — nor is it like any other book on the face of this earth.   While we do have history in the Bible, while we do have great stories, while we do have stirring poetry and exciting apocalyptic literature. While we have compelling biographies and heart-wrenching letters, the Bible is literature — but more than that. The Bible is the living, active, and authoritative Word of God.

(Tomorrow: Godly Inspiration, not Worldly Interpretation)

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  1. […] the Boone’s Creek Baptist Church, Lexington, KY on 23 September 2007.  You may also read the Introduction and Part I as […]

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