The Bible contains all of the truth that God wants us to have, and it has all the information we need to live a godly life (2 Peter 1.3). We do not need fanciful arguments or clever tricks to show people the truth in God’s word, but we do need to make sure the arguments we’re using are good ones. How can we tell if the arguments we’re using are good ones? There are several ways, so we’ll look at them all in a couple different posts.
Making Biblical Arguments
The first way to tell you’re making a good argument is to ask a very simple question: am I using the Bible? It’s God’s word that has all the truth we need; nothing else can make that claim. We should not make points without getting that point from God.
If you aren’t using the Bible as the basis for your argument, then chances are you’re using worldly wisdom. Scripture warns us repeatedly about the “doctrine of demons” and other “demonic wisdom” (cf. 1 Timothy 4.1 and James 3.15). What may seem like a good argument, if not based on the Bible, may have very sinister origins. Worldly wisdom cannot match godly wisdom, so let us set aside human argumentation and focus on the text.
This, of course, doesn’t take away from empirical and observational evidence. The Bible itself says the creation speaks of God’s glory (cf Psalm 19.1-6). By examining the universe, we can see the divine nature and power of God (Romans 1.20). When you’re talking about different geological strata, there will few relevant passages. However, the Bible still has things to say about sedimentary deposition, so we must keep those things in mind as we study. Since the framework we use to understand evidence will dramatically alter our conclusions, we must make sure to base our framework on the word of God.
When it comes to religion, specifically, it would be foolish to try and answer questions without using the Bible. That would be like a knight jousting without his horse and armor, or a football player taking the field without his helmet and pads. Even though it may seem funny at first, someone is going to hurt them. If we want to know what God’s will is, then we have to use the Bible in our discussions.
This might seem elementary, and I fully admit the theory is so. However, I have often had discussions with fellow saints when almost no one opened the Bible. Occasionally and casually referencing the Bible isn’t good enough; the Holy Spirit did not record the Scriptures so we could occasionally and casually reference them. Would Shakespearean scholars casually reference the bard’s works at a conference? I should hope not. May God forbid his own children would meet together and not seriously consider the Scriptures! I would go so far as saying if you’re not arguing from the Scriptures, then you’re already wrong.
What does the Book say?
Let’s consider the following Bible passages about its usefulness. Hopefully, that will help us resolve to use God’s word more often in our decision-making processes.
Psalm 119.105-106: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules.”
Psalm 19.7-11: “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”
Psalm 43.3-4: Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
2 Peter 1.19-21: And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 5.6-17: Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them…Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
1 Peter 4.10-11: As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Obviously, there are many other passages we could quote, but these suffice to show the necessity of arguing from the Scriptures. If we claim to follow God but don’t use his word to guide us, then we’re really following our own wisdom and desires. Let us always be those who humbly submit to God’s will and seek to follow his word in all things!