We're in the middle of a great series at church - Honest Answers to Tough Questions. I've heard some of the answers before, but others are completely new to me. I'm learning a lot. I know this will sound funny, but the best lesson I've taken from this series so far is that it's actually OK to ask the questions in the first place and look for evidence in history, archeology, etc. I thought it was a sign of weak faith to even ask questions like that in the first place.
On Easter the subject was the resurrection. Last week it was why bad things happen to good people. Today, it was the reliability of the Bible.
The first part of the message covered historical evidences: the number and accuracy of manuscripts & archeological finds. That was encouraging. Then the prophetic aspects were covered: stuff the Bible predicted that has proven to be true, prophecies about Jesus, etc.
If the Bible is reliable, we should study it. One of the verses used to illustrate this was Acts 17:11 - which talks about the Bereans searching the Scriptures to see if what Paul preached was true. I can understand that, but somehow I pictured this as the leadership of the Bereans testing what this travelling preacher was teaching, not the rank-n-file folks. But today, that's exactly what my pastor did: he invited everyone in the church to check it out for themselves--he told the whole church it was OK to question him! The idea that the "average" Christian would do this seems foreign to me. What if they found that it wasn't the truth? Then what? Do they ask the leader for clarification? Do they just leave? How much room is there for disagreement?