‘How do I know there’s a God and if there is, what’s he up to?’ The orthodox Christian will happily answer, ‘Look at the creation as evidence of God’s power and wisdom.’
Then they are likely to refer you to the Bible explaining that, ‘As we humans are finite and God is infinite, then we can’t find God unaided so, God reveals himself to us through the written word of the Bible.’
Now the Bible has been central to Christian and Jewish belief all the way along.
Once you start delving into the Bible, it is easy to be overwhelmed by its depth and breadth. It offers a perspective which, though obvious in one sense, is also often veiled to us. Such treasures can become too ‘heady’ for us.
For this reason, many clerics were reluctant about ordinary people getting into the Bible for themselves, sensing that it might have the effect of a loose cannon. In fact God’s words often have a disturbing, disruptive and dividing effect.
But here’s the crucial point. Jesus, knowing what great store the religious leaders of his day set by the Bible, said to them: ‘You diligently study the Scriptures, because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.’
So, really Christians aren’t wanting to introduce people to religion, the church, the Bible, not even, in the first instance, to God, but to Jesus.
Shirley Baptist Church