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Questions and Answers From Children About God
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Theodore: Oh, hello, Aurora! Sorry I bumped into you; I wasn’t looking where I was going.
Aurora: Never mind; I’ll help you pick up your books. My, you’ve got a lot of them! What are you doing with so many? . . . Oh, they’re all Bibles.
Theo: Yes, I’m taking them to one of the homeless shelters my church works with. We want to be able to give a Bible to every person who comes in there.
Au: Why, exactly? I don’t know much about the Bible, and I fail to see how it can be much help to a homeless person. Don’t they need food and clothes and shelter and more practical things?
Theo: Absolutely, but everyone needs the Bible since it is the only infallible solution to the world’s and every individual’s problems. All the other things we can give others don’t always work out the way we intended. Sometimes we don’t know which approach will work to solve a particular person’s problems, even if we’ve met the same problems before—since the form of support or comfort or discipline or reasoning that works for one person might not make any connection with another. Only the Bible can speak the Truth to everyone.
Au: But how can you be so sure of that? I mean, I’ve heard things quoted from the Bible that sound very nice and true and helpful to me, but I’ve also heard those kinds of things from other people or even fictional books. So I don’t see how you can prove the Bible’s authority by saying that it’s helpful.
Theo: Not exactly. Depending on the helpfulness of the Bible just follows from the fact that the Bible is the authority and the Truth, so of course it is also going to be helpful. And you can, to a certain extent, uphold the belief that the Bible is absolutely correct and authoritative by what impact it has had on those who have followed it. History and present experience join in agreeing that everyone who has turned to the Bible for guidance or for aid in time of trouble has found it. In the same way, since historically and in my own experience, we all agree that the sun makes us warmer by its shining, that is a pretty good argument that the sun actually does make us warmer. But that is not the sole ground for believing the Bible is the whole and only Truth.
Au: Please tell me some more of the others. I’m interested; this all sounds so incredible to me. I can’t even imagine how anyone can be so certain that a Book contains all the Truth—it doesn’t seem possible to me that you could rationally support that.
Theo: Well, the real argument isn’t that the book contains the Truth, Aurora. God is Truth—Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). And the Bible is completely true and authoritative because it is God’s Word and contains His Truth. The story of the Bible is the story of Jesus. There is a reason why both Jesus Himself and the Bible are each often simply called: “the Word.” I believe the Bible is completely true and infallible in all it says, and that it has all the answers necessary for human life, because I believe what God says. If Jesus was talking to us here on the street, I would believe He had all the answers. Since the way He has presently chosen to communicate with us is in His Word the Bible, I believe all that It says, equally devoutly. So the real issue here is not with establishing the Truth of the Bible, but the Truth of God.
Au: But then don’t you also have to show how the Truth of God can be known to have been revealed in the Bible? Let’s take the Truth of God as a given for now; I do believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection to save us, and that that is the only True Way to Heaven. But I don’t see why it follows from that that every word of the Bible is true.
Theo: The fact is, the main record we have of Jesus’ death and Resurrection is the Bible. If we believe the Bible is true in what it says about that, we have to believe it is true in what it says about everything else.
Au: I don’t understand why. Just because I believe something I read in a book, even a history book, doesn’t mean I believe every single word of it. Why should the Bible be different?
Theo: Because the Bible itself attests to its own infallibility. Just look at this verse in 2 Peter: “knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21). You see, if that verse is true, then every single verse in the Bible must be equally true. If it is not true, then we have no way of confirming that any other verse in the Bible is true; we would just pick and choose what we wanted to suit our own individual agendas, including whether or not Jesus is truly Our Savior.
Au: I see. That’s a pretty serious issue. But how can we be sure that verse is true?
Theo: Because of the verses just before it (2 Peter 1:16-19). Peter appeals to the authority of Jesus to back up his claim. Jesus’ death and Resurrection are the historical proof that the words written down by His eyewitness followers were directly inspired by Him and were His way of communicating His accomplished purpose of salvation to the world. If we believe that His offering of Himself for our salvation is true, then we must believe that the Bible is also true and the sole authority for guiding our actions in rightful living. The Bible could not have the impact that it does unless it was the True and Living Word of Jesus Christ Himself. Moreover, in the book of 2 Timothy, the Bible tells us that “(a)ll Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Au: Hmm. I’d like to talk about this with you more; maybe see the impact it has had on some of the people at the shelter you’re bringing them to.
Theo: Sure; and while you’re about it, why don’t you read it yourself, and see what sort of impact it has on your life!
Ask your children
What do you think about Theo’s answers to Aurora’s questions? Do you have any other questions of your own that this dialogue has brought up for you? Challenge them to think up more responses they could give, if someone asked them a question like Aurora’s.