Tell the prince that this (a Bible) is the secret of England’s greatness’ – Queen Victoria.

bible-final-authorityThe spiritual luminosity of the church is declining and becoming inadequate to curtail the forces of darkness behind the spiritual decline, global unrest, and moral decay. It is time for the church to arise and correct the perilous apostasy and restore the primary authority of Scripture, and the biblical God as the Christian’s sole guide for faith and practice (II Tim 3:1-17; 4:1-5). The Bible, the Basic Instruction Before Leaving the Earth is the guidebook that provides the basis for evangelism, miracle of salvation, discipleship, and spiritual formation. The Bible is God-breathed, ‘useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness’ ( Tim 3:16).

The world is going through global unrest and moral decay due to disobedience and rejection of God’s restful salvation of forgiveness of sin and hope in Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Heb 4:11). Because of unbelief and disobedience, many perished in the wilderness (Heb 3:7, Josh 5:6, Nu 32:13). Today, the world is becoming another wilderness of unbelief and sin.

The beauty of Bible and its infallibility is to be spiritually and rightly divided bearing in mind that profane and vain babbling increases into more ungodliness (2Tim.3:15-19; 16-17). It is impossible to know God without God’s Spirit (2 Cor 3:4-6). The narrative and miracle of salvation ingrafts an inextinguishable and uncompromising hope for Christians. It is the hope we have of Christ’s return that inspires believers to face troubles, afflictions, and wearing persecutions. The world is going through the darkest hours of mankind’s earthly journey, however, Jesus weaves into this dark fabric, the rays of hope (Matt 24:29).

The problem of ‘ever learning’ (secular and spiritual knowledge) that are never able to come to the Truth of Biblical Christianity is behind the problem of our dying, corrupt and immoral world, declining church, dying homes and marriages. The battleground in our days centres on our own worldviews (Heart versus Head), the interpretation and understanding of the authority of Scripture. Today, movements of ‘anti-Christian agenda’ within and outside the Christian church are trying to capture whole denominations with the belief and practices that is inconsistent with classical and biblical Christianity.

The Jesus Seminar, a group of scholars, a creation of Robert W. Funk, through his leadership of the Westar Institute founded in 1985,[1] ‘an academic think-thank, was an agenda-driven effort to undermine orthodox Christianity.’ The inconsistent agenda of Jesus Seminar for classical Christianity was expressed by Funk during their first meeting. He said, ‘those of us who work with that hypothetical middle [between creation and the end of all things] —Jesus of Nazareth—are hard pressed to concoct any form of coherence that will unite beginning, middle, and end in some grand new fiction that will meet all the requirements of narrative. To put the matter bluntly, we are having as much trouble with the middle—the messiah—as we are with the terminal points. What we need is a new fiction that takes as its starting point the central event in the Judeo-Christian drama and reconciles that middle with a new story that reaches beyond old beginnings and endings. In sum, we need a new narrative of Jesus, a new gospel, if you will, that places Jesus differently in the grand scheme, the epic story.’

Jesus SeminarJesus Seminar was to ‘give Jesus a demotion,’ hence the need for a more credible Jesus. They considered miracles as contradictory to ‘the regularity of the order of the physical universe… Prayer is meaningless when understood as requests addressed to an external God for favour or forgiveness and meaningless if God does not interfere with the laws of nature. Prayer as praise is a remnant of the age of kingship in the ancient Near East and is beneath the dignity of deity. Prayer should be understood principally as meditation—as listening rather than talking—and as attention to the needs of neighbour …The Bible does not contain fixed, objective standards of behaviour that should govern human behaviour for all time’[2] Satan is seen as a myth of evil rather than a real spiritual person who has come to steal and to destroy (Jn 10:10). Many still sees the second coming of Christ as a myth, just as did Peter’s opponents 2000 years ago. The gate of hell will never prevail against the church, Jesus Seminar ran its course and ran out of things about Jesus to debunk. However, the battle between the heart and head in a dying and immoral world continues with the launching of the careers of several scholars sponsoring debates and programs in few churches and mostly in the university ‘who continue to pontificate on the ‘historical’ Jesus.’[3]

John Shelby Spong who has a reputation of being the ‘atheist Bishop’ retired as the Episcopal Bishop of Newark. He was a visiting lecturer at Harvard and at more than 500 other universities all over the world. In his books – Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy; The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic; Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World; Eternal Life: A New Vision; Jesus for the Non-Religious, The Sins of scripture, Resurrection: Myth or Reality? Here I Stand, he basically tried to project an unknowable future for Christianity. For example in A New Christianity for New World: Why Traditional Faith is dying and How a New Faith is being Born, Spong focuses on the death in the belief in one God (Theism) as the creator of everything in the universe and the need to transcend it in the contemporary world.[4] The problem with Spong’s work is that, his post-theistic ‘church’ or universalism is an idea to an ‘unknown and unknowable’ destination and territory.[5] Spong’s interpretation of the birth of theism in the beginning of civilisation as a coping mechanism against trauma of self-consciousness[6] is part of the end time delusion and agenda to evolve a new theology and vision of the future of Christianity shaped by the secular/popular culture. One of the major confusion with Spong is that, he ‘does not believe in the virgin birth of Jesus …’[7] but sees God as the source of all life, love, being and embrace life to the fullest, hence his need for new faith not subject to the death of theism. Spong wants to eat his cake and have it. He is not sure of what form his ‘New Christianity’ should take. He is selective in forming the Jesus he presents, trying to interpret the New Testament in way that suits him better.[8]

Bible bProfessor Edgar Andrews in his book, Who Made God? Searching for a Theory of Everything raised a standard against the evident hypocrisy, the aggressive atheism of our age and ‘exposes the pretensions of the ‘new atheism of Richard Dawkins’ and others like Spong, Funk and Jesus Seminar. According to Andrews, there is more to existence than material world – the things that make life worth living are mainly non-material as against the ‘physicists dream of discovering a theory of everything that will embrace every physical process and phenomenon in the cosmos.’ The question, if there can ‘be a theory of everything that includes not only space, time, matter and energy but also the realm of the heart, mind, conscience and spirit,’ calls for a return to ‘the hypothesis of God, a theory that, in spite of its opponents, still towers above the barren landscape of atheism and despair.’[9] God exist and He is not dead, He is Risen in Jesus Christ. The absurdity of the ‘new atheism’ against the Christian theism is a clarion call for a right understanding, interpretation, and renewed evangelism of the biblical God and Christianity.

The Bible, the best book in the world is beyond the liturgical calendar, purposes and new paradigm of Michael Goulder and other theoreticians,[10] neither is it just going through the Torah and the synagogue readings in an annual sequence. The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation tells about the reign of God and not just a collection of Jewish midrashic stories written to convey the significance of Jesus. In a dying and corrupt world, the Bible, the written record of what God has declared on all subjects makes us to see ‘the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ,’ and know ‘the unsearchable riches of Christ.’ Using the words of Andrews, ‘the biblical hypothesis of God provides us with an altogether more rational and integrated view of providence, miracles and meaning of life – a view that doesn’t imprison God within the confines of natural law.’[11] Christianity is nothing more and nothing less than following Jesus Christ according to the Bible. BACK TO THE BIBLE: BE A PART, PLEASE.

[1] Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar (eds), The Gospel of Jesus: According to Jesus Seminar (Santa Rosa: Polebridge Press, 1999), pp. 1-3, 107

[2] Robert, Mark D, Unmasking the Jesus Seminar: A Critique of Its Methods and Conclusions

[3] Robert, Mark D, Unmasking the Jesus Seminar: A Critique of Its Methods and Conclusions

[4] Spong, John Shelby, A New Christianity for New World: Why Traditional Faith is dying and How a New Faith is being Born (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2001), pp. 21-23

[5] Spong, A New Christianity for New World, p. 171

[6] Spong, A New Christianity for New World, p. 37

[7] Spong, A New Christianity for New World, pp. 79, 129

[8] Spong, A New Christianity for New World, pp. 201-205, 172

[9] Andrews, Edgar, Who Made God? Searching for a Theory of Everything (Darlington: EP Books, 2009), p. ic, 129,

[10] Andrews, Who Made God?, p. 103

[11] Andrews, Who Made God?, p. 155