Headline – the religious page of The Leader-Post Newspaper of Saturday the 24th of October, 2009 (Page G5) “Nobel winner calls Bible ‘a manual of bad morals'”
It seems that a Nobel Prize winning author – 86 year old Jose Saramago – at the launch of his new book “Cain”, which is an ironic retelling of the Bible story of Cain, Adam and Eve’s elder son who kills his brother Abel, stated that the Bible is a “handbook of bad morals” and that society would probably be better off without the Bible.
He stated: “The Bible is a manual of bad morals (which) has a powerful influence on our culture and our way of life. Without the Bible we would be different, and probably better people.”
His attack included comments about God when he states that the God we worship and serve is “…a cruel, jealous and unbearable God (who) exists only in our heads”
When I read this article I felt like saying – “so what else is new? Stand in line along with every other atheist and serious deceived agnostic in the world today.” My second thought was: “Have you even read the Bible and tried to come to understand God as He is revealed from Genesis to Revelation or are you just forming opinions based on a feeling or on hearsay?” And, a third thought: “What makes you – an author of novels and someone who has left the church and now throws rocks at her – an expert on the subject and thus someone who speaks up and speaks as fact something that is just your opinion?”
Folks, this kind of comment from this type of person is becoming quite common and he is just one of many making comments such as this in public about something he knows little about. But he does have an audience and they do listen to him – and so should we. So, I didn’t say any of my thoughts to him and wouldn’t even if given an opportunity. I would, instead, listen and try to uncover or discover the hurt in his life and why he believes as he does – because he sincerely believes what he is stating.
We need desperately to understand apologetics. Apologetics is from the Greek [apologia], which means to make a plea for, or make a defense of whatever is in view. It is the branch of theology that is concerned with the defense of Christian doctrines. But, it is something that not just theologians and scholars should be involved in. It is something that every believer should be able to do – to defend the faith and speak on behalf of the Christian faith from a basis of understanding of both the Bible and the Christian faith.
But, regretfully most believers today do not really know what it is that the Christian faith teaches (the basic doctrines) nor are they knowledgable in defending the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3). This, I believe, is not a failing of the believer but a failure of the leaders of the Church. We have not properly equipped the saints.
It is my hope and dream that with the reintroduction of apostles to the church that this new leadership will help, in time, to rectify this situation and allow believers to stand firmly upon the truth once again – to know what they believe, why they believe it and how to defend it. It will take a while for apostles to sort their way through this and to develop a “list of basic doctrines” of the Christian faith – the “apostolic doctrines” mentioned is Acts 2:42 – but it will happen and I am already involved in just such a project for my work overseas in the former Soviet Union nations where the need for such a series of basic teachings is so important and so desperately needed.
Meanwhile, here in North America there are some great books out there to help equip believers who will take the time to read and to learn…
1> Who Made God (and answers to over 100 other tough questions of faith) by Ravi Zacharias and Norman Geisler.
2> The Faith by Charles Colson and Harold Fickett.
3> The Christian and the Pharisee by Dr. R.T. Kendall and Rabbi David Rosen.
It’s a start anyways…