The Power of the Word

One of my favourite preachers is G. Campbell Morgan (1863 to 1945) and he has an amazing story to tell about the power of God’s Word in the life of anyone who is truly seeking for truth and purpose.

He had grown up in a Christian home, never questioning that the Bible was the Word of God. But in college, his faith was severely challenged and he began to entertain doubts. “The whole intellectual world was under the mastery of the physical scientists, and of a materialistic and rationalistic philosophy,” he later said. “There came a moment when I was sure of nothing.”

That was an era when it was fashionable to launch attacks on the veracity of Scripture. The new crowd hired out great lecture and concert halls across England for the purpose of attacking the authority of the Bible. Armed with their intellectual artillery, the army of skeptics troubled the young Morgan. He studied every book he could find — for and against the Bible, for and against Christianity — until his mind was reeling with arguments and counter-arguments.

He finally heaved a sigh, gathered up all the volumes, and locked them in a cupboard. He then walked to a bookshop and purchased a brand-new Bible. He had decided it was time to let the venerable old Book speak for itself. The young Morgan believed that if the Bible truly was divinely inspired, and if he would simply read it with an open mind, then the Book would do its own convincing. So he opened its covers and began to read.

The Bible spoke to him with eloquence and authority. The unity of the sixty-six inspired books, the many literary forms gathered across time, and the depth of the message itself — all these elements of the Bible experience overwhelmed him. The clear power and presence of God could be encountered here! “That Bible found me,” he later said. After that year, 1883, he was a devoted student of the Scriptures for the balance of his life. 

Our cynical culture would like you to believe that the Christian life is a mindless thing, built around an ordinary book that is a dusty grab bag of mythology. It’s all so much emotion, they claim, so much self-deception. According to the stereotype, you check your mind at the door when you take up Christianity, and smart folks would stay away. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. And most members of the cynical culture have never honestly, with an open mind and heart, even read the Bible they appose and ridicule.