How do we know that the Bible is in fact from God? Wherein lies our assurance? I recently read two interesting answers to this question, both of which, I believe, are true. The first comes from Andrew Wilson and the second from J. I. Packer.
Here is Wilson’s explanation, originally found at his blog (www.thinktheology.co.uk) under the title, “Why Accept the Authority of the Bible? A Twelve Step Argument.”
I saw an intriguing exchange on Twitter the other day. My friend Mike Betts had written something very innocuous - the Bible says we should trust God, or something like that - and someone responded, in a series of tweets that quickly degenerated into expletives and accusations of idiocy, that it is ridiculous to base our lives on an Iron Age text. What evidence is there, they demanded, that the Bible is true? After a few helpful questions, Mike wisely suggested that 140 characters might not be the best medium with which to argue for biblical authority, and said he could point them to some useful resources if they wanted. His interlocutor, apparently satisfied that "I can't explain all that in a tweet" meant "I have no reason to believe it whatsoever", immediately left the discussion, no doubt even more entrenched in their view that all Christians are idiots who are simply too stupid to have thought about whether the Bible can be trusted. Sigh.
That exchange made me wonder: how would I explain the argument for biblical authority, to a secular person, as quickly and logically as possible? Obviously I wouldn’t assume someone could be persuaded by a few hundred words - and in my experience, people who fire expletives around on Twitter are not usually looking to be persuaded of anything anyway - but I thought it might be helpful to lay out the argument, at least as I see it, both to give an example of how a Christian might respond, and to help a sceptic identify the point in the argument at which they differ. (Usually,