What was so good about Western civilization, that it galloped past the rest of the world and achieved great things?
In 2011 Vishal Mangalwadi, a scholar from India who converted to Christianity, wrote a book that brilliantly proves that it was the Bible, God’s Word, and nothing else, that made the West great. With the Red Pope yapping about the obligation of countries with decent, relatively honest governments to stop eating food that ought to go to people living in countries with unspeakably corrupt governments, and the need for some even more corrupt world government to “redistribute” everything, Mangalwadi’s book deserves to be read–and re-read–by, well, everyone.
I had occasion yesterday to consult “Biblical scholars.” But as usual, I found their company to be annoying–because most of them seem not to believe hardly a single word the Bible says. They (most of them) would have us believe that virtually the whole Old Testament is fiction, cooked up by Jewish priests looking to wile away the years of captivity in Babylon by spinning tall tales.
I like to think that I know something about writing fiction. I’ve been doing it for almost all my life. And reading a lot of it, too. Not to mention history produced by Greeks and Romans, Britons, Scandinavian peoples, and others.
The great medieval Icelandic historian, Snorri Sturlusson, said he trusted his sources–royal poets, most of them–because, had they praised the kings who employed them with stories and boasts that people knew were not true, they would only win for their kings mockery, not praise. I take that to be always true. People have always laughed at empty boasts.
So not only would those fictioneering Jewish priests have exposed themselves to ridicule–but why would they take their two greatest kings, David and Solomon, and describe how those kings fell into sin and folly, and brought evil on their country? No Roman historian–and Roman historians, like Livy, are always, always accused to making their subjects look much better than they were–would have dreamed of writing such a thing.
The practice of tearing down the great and famous men of the past never came into general use until late in the 19th century. There could have been no reason whatsoever for Biblical chroniclers to show Solomon, wise King Solomon, indulging in foolish behavior that ruined his kingdom.
They would not have written that unless it were true and everyone knew it to be true. Ditto David and some of his more egregious mis-steps.
This, of course, is a vast subject and I have only scraped its surface here. But if scholars are going to accuse the Bible writers of spinning yarns, they would do well to acquire some slight understanding of fiction.
Take the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.
All of Western civilization–our global, secular civilization–is headed for a train wreck. It cannot keep going the way it’s going. But hear the Scripture:
“Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.” (Psalm 46:2-3)
Rest on the Sabbath day, and refrain from battle: for the battle is the Lord’s.
Just ask Pharaoh, when you find him at the bottom of the sea.
See if you can follow this line of reasoning. I encounter it all the time.
“God does not exist, and the stories told in the Old Testament are not true.
“I hate God for all those terrible things he did in the Old Testament!”
Brilliant, isn’t it? I hate someone who doesn’t exist for doing things that never happened.
“God does not exist, and there never were any such people as Adam and Eve, and never any such place as the Garden of Eden–and I hate God for kicking Adam and Eve out of the Garden.”
What sleight of hand is this? And why do they always get away with it? Like the postmodern collidge prefessers who say, “There is no truth; there is only your truth and my truth and someone else’s truth. But if you don’t support ‘gay marriage,’ I’ll have you expelled from this university.” But why should we support sodomite “marriage,” or abortion, or amnesty for illegal aliens, or any other left-wing shibboleth if there is no truth? Left-wing causes are always treated as absolute truth by this crowd.
So God, who does not exist, was evil for blasting Sodom and Gomorrah, which never happened because the Bible is just a bunch of stories dreamed up by Jewish priests who wanted to fool people 2,500 years later… Welcome to the Alan Dershowitz school of theology.
People who think like this now control most of the institutions of our society. That’s why those institutions don’t work anymore.
O Lord Our God, remember that these things are done without our consent and against our will!
In Acts 26, Paul defends the Christian faith before the Roman governor, Festus, and King Agrippa, son of that Herod who murdered the Apostle James, but a man with a decent reputation in history. Paul has high hopes that Agrippa will listen to him, because he knows the king has been an earnest student of the scriptures.
Paul concludes, “For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely; for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.”
And Agrippa’s answer (verse 28): “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.”
Almost got eternal life. Almost got forgiveness of my sins. Almost reconciled to God. Almost entered into God’s Kingdom, and into the joy of Our Lord.
Missed it by that much!
At the risk of sounding like a 1950s TV commercial, don’t let this happen to you.
All right, yeah, faith can be difficult. It wouldn’t be faith, if it weren’t. The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1)–and King Agrippa didn’t have it.
The Bible preserves the memory of an ancient river that flowed across Arabia many thousands of years ago.
God speaks to us in many ways.
I was raised in a close-knit Christian family, but came out of four years of college with the kind of precious know-it-all attitude for which the university is the ultimate greenhouse. And in that wilderness I wandered for 30 years or so, until the Good Shepherd brought me back.
The Bible preserves much ancient knowledge which would otherwise be lost. In Genesis 2, the “four rivers of Eden” are described. Two we know today as the Tigris and the Euphrates, in Iraq. But in verse 11 we read, “The name of the first is Pison [or Pishon]; that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold…”
“Havilah” refers to what is now the western part of Saudi Arabia. Geologists for years wondered about the presence of certain kinds of pebbles and stones in Kuwait which were not original to that country. But as satellite photos revealed the bed of a mighty river now buried under the Arabian desert, it became clear that these stones and pebbles came from far away, carried there by a river which dried up and disappeared thousands of years ago.
So there is information in that chapter of Genesis that has no business being there unless it is an accurate record of truly ancient things. Never mind the Reputable Bible Scholars Inc. who say the whole Bible is just a bunch of fables and stories invented by priests in Babylon after 500 B.C. to wile away the time spent in captivity.
Geologists estimate that the Kuwait/Pison River ceased to exist by, at the latest, 2,000 B.C. So then they talked about it for 1,500 years?
Reading about this lost river of Eden, now found again, shocked me deeply: shocked me with the revelation that Genesis is true. It got me started back on the road to the Bible. It continues to fascinate me 20 years later.