Foy E. Wallace, Jr.
The present trend toward modernism is discernible in the emphasis that our school men are putting on philosophy. But philosophy is the product of human reasoning and therefore is no more infallible than the minds of men. Yet philosophy is being accepted as final and regarded more authoritative than revelation. When men will not accept the record of divine revelation unless it can be confirmed by philosophy, they are not men of faith—they are modernists.
Proof that the Bible is divine revelation and therefore infallible is not meager and scant—it is manifold and sufficient, both intrinsic and extrinsic in genus. The first exists in the character of the contents of the Bible, and the second in the demands of man’s nature.
The Need Of Revelation. The very nature of man requires it. First, as a dying creature, unlike the animal, he possesses love of life and dread of death. He is dissatisfied with the thought of being born to die—with being brought into the world to begin to die the moment that he begins to live. In his nature there is a longing for a destiny beyond the limits of life here, a yearning for the revelation of his origin and his destiny. His’ nature demands a destiny. The Bible is the only book that answers his longing and reveals his destiny. It is therefore the only book that meets the demands of man’s nature.
Second, as a worshipping being, his desire to worship demands an object of worship, which of necessity must be a superhuman object. But the inability of man to create renders it impossible for him to make or imagine such an ideal. The true object of his worship must therefore be revealed. The Bible is the only book that reveals the object of man’s worship.
Third, as a rational being, all but destitute of instinct, he is unable to supply his own wants, His reason, affection and conscience, lifting him above the creature of automatic instinct, demand a revealed religion in acquired language. Being a universal creature, to obviate prejudice, this revealed religion must be non-sectional and international, overcoming sectional distinctions, and such is the revealed religion of the Bible.
The Character Of The Bible. Further proof that the Bible is direct divine revelation is discoverable in the character of its contents. First, in unique composition its pronouncements are profound, yet in the whole of its presentation its style is simple, and its lessons and duties are understandable. It is the longest line of thought woven in the loom of time, yet expressed in clear and easy words which translation does not weaken, proving it to be unlike other books, and certifying that it is superhuman, and demonstrating it to be the book from above.
Second, in its divine impartiality, unlike human books, it exposes the weaknesses in the lives of its characters and records the mistakes and misdeeds of its heroes.Adam sinned and was expelled from his primeval home; Noah’s intoxication is related with all of its repulsion; David’s transgression was revealed as an orgy of lust; and Peter’s denial is mentioned as a trait of cowardice. Where is there a book of man like it? Let infidels account for the truthful impartiality of the Bible on mere human grounds of authorship.
Third, in its proffered rewards and threatened punishments revelation is written in every line, for man could not propose blessings or punishments higher than his imagination, nor write of the future longer than he himself could see enforced. The duration of rewards and punishments being eternal, man could not have conceived such. The teaching of the Bible concerning eternity projects man farther and deeper into the future than his imagination could invent or his mind conceive.
Fourth, in the vast quantity of its varied contents there are no conflicts. With no apparent effort on the part of its authors to avoid contradictions, there are none; but it does not propose to harmonize those which man fancies to discover; there being none in it, the discrepancies vanish in the light of all the facts. The fact that its authors were separated by time, clime and language, with no knowledge of each other, yet were agreed in all that is written, proves that the Bible is not the work of men.
Fifth, in its demands on the individual, the Bible claims the hearts, lives and reverence of all men of all generations, with no apology for the demand. The most inspiring of all human philosophers could never have dreamed of such a thing. Man did not write the Bible. It is the book of a universal and an eternal God.
The Value Of Testimony. The character of witnesses, in evidence on questions involving integrity and veracity, determines the value of the testimony. Of first consideration on this point is the life of Jesus. He lived in toil and sacrifice and taught his disciples to do the same. Note the passages: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures on the earth”; and, “Labor not for the bread that perisheth”; and, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself.” Could a mere man hope for such from his followers? Could any human teacher expect ready recruits from such appeals? Offering only affliction and reproach? The history of the world does not record such. But the honesty of such demands was absolute and cannot be discredited.
As a second consideration there is the test of purity. The purity of life required of the followers of Jesus is a basic evidence. Miracles attest the fact of Christianity, but morals are the profession of it. Mohammed cared nothing for the appraisal of his subjects as to his moral character and made no demands as to their own. That alone marks him as a pretender. Christ demands purity to the point that there can be no fellowship with him without it. The like of it cannot be found in history.
A third consideration is yet found in the test of veracity. Some who acknowledge the purity of Jesus, deny his claims of divinity and deity. They are inconsistent. If he was not divine, he was an imposter. There is no such thing as Jesus being a good man if his claims were false.But his life and his teaching are the credentials of his divinity. Take his teaching on eternity—the promise of happiness after a life of toil, and glory after suffering—where is there a sane man who would spend his life, all of his days, in toil and privation for the vain hope of glory after he died?
A fourth and final test in the sincerity of his witnesses is their inflexible zeal, coupled with their virtues, and their willingness to die. This could not have been founded on fraud and deception. They could have renounced it all and lived. What they taught was true, affirmed by life and confirmed by death. Imposter Joe Smith and his brother Hiram fought to live when the mob came, and died fighting with pistols to escape assassination. Compare it with the death of Jesus and the martyrdom of Christians. Man did not write the Bible, and its religion is of God.
The Bible Is Not A Fable. It takes centuries and millenniums for fables to grow, and they must originate far from the present stage and existing scene of things. But the church of the New Testament was set up in the very city where its author was crucified, within fifty days of the tragic event, in sight of the hill where he died, and in the presence of thousands who knew Him and hundreds who saw Him before and after his resurrection from the dead. Christianity a myth, Jesus a fake, and the Bible a fable? Its first writer, Moses himself, begins the Bible, not with the story of his own life, but of creation; and instead of taking the glory for his own age of time, he ascribed it to 2,500 years before, and passes over the 1,500 years of his own generations to the future and everlasting age to come. That is not a human spirit. As for Jesus, the influence of his life and teaching have increased with the passing of the centuries. The birth of Jesus reversed the calendar of the world, and the time of it is imprinted on every letter that men write, on every deed and abstract and legal document that men record in every government on earth, and is inscribed on the monument that marks the head of every man’s grave. Why all this if there is nothing to it, if Christ is a fraud and the Bible is a fable. If the Bible is a mere fable, why do infidels single it out and seek its destruction? There are thousands of fables in the land, and they let them pass—why not let the Bible pass, if it is just another fable? Why do they oppose it? Ah, the book will not let them alone. It condemns them at every turn. Their spirits cannot rest. It follows them by day and it haunts them by night. It is before them when they rise up, and it is there when they lie down. They rant and they rave, they scoff and they scowl, but they feel afraid.
The system of religion revealed in the Bible is the only reliable religion. No other will answer the demand for the knowledge of the origin and the history and the destiny of man, It is not reasonable that God, even if He were called Nature, could overlook the revelation of things of such stupendous importance, but expose matters of far less moment. There is but one conclusion: The Bible is the revelation of the eternal God of the universe.