Why We Need the Bible
That’s a bold claim. Maybe even preposterous. You have been doing just fine without the Bible, without bothering to open it even once to read it. You don’t see why you need it and for what. But here is a question for you: are you living as you ought to live?
That’s the funny thing about human beings, isn’t it? We can have everything go the way we want and still not be satisfied. It may be that we are just greedy. But it may also have a nobler cause. You may feel like you are not living up to your full potential. Or you may have a nagging sense that you are not living as you ought even if you cannot articulate what that means.
As far as we can see, this idea of “ought” is not in any other creatures. They simply follow their instinct; they don’t bother asking what they ought to do. Not so with us humans. Whatever we do, we constantly feel the tug of “ought”—even when we eat! This idea of “ought” seems to be uniquely human. Where does it come from?
Is it just a social construct? Maybe or maybe not. Have you ever felt alone because you felt that what everyone else was doing was not right? Many revolutions in ethical standards have occurred in history because some saw something wrong with the standards of that time.
Think about the abolition of slavery and the civil rights movement in our country’s past. But why do only humans have these ethical social constructs? Doesn’t this say something unique about human nature?
One of my high school English teachers said, “All works of literature deal fundamentally with three questions: 1) what is man; 2) what is his problem; and 3) what can he do about it? Even commercials and ads address these questions. What is man? A consumer. What is his problem? Not having the latest product. What can he do about it? Buy, buy, buy and he will be happy! Isn’t it fascinating that all kinds of different answers are given to these questions—commercial, philosophical, stoic, hedonistic, rational, idealistic, materialistic, spiritual, pragmatic, religious, scientific, artistic, etc.? And think about all the intense conflicts throughout the world because people hold on to different answers. Can anything unify our ideas of ought?
Do we as individuals have enough knowledge and experience to arrive at the definitive answer to the above fundamental questions about life? How about collectively as the human race? Will science help us come up with the answer? But the role of science is to explain how things are, not how things ought to be. People have different ideas about what should be done with what science explains or discovers or creates. Think about the issue of human cloning or AI. Instead of unifying us, such new technologies only fuel the different ideas people already have about what ought to be done.
Are we to simply come up with our own answers and go on living, hoping that somehow we got them right? No! God did not leave us alone to grope in darkness, searching for the answers with our finite knowledge and limited experiences. Who can tell the meaning of a story better than the author? Who can tell the meaning of our life better than our Creator? Only a God of infinite knowledge and wisdom can provide us with the definitive answers to our life’s most fundamental questions. And God was pleased to reveal His purpose for making us, which is the basis of our meaning in life.
So, what is man? A unique creature made in God’s image. What is his problem? He has rejected his Maker’s purpose for his life, perishing like a branch cut off from the tree. What can he do about it? Nothing! But God has provided a Savior in Jesus Christ, who endured in our place the penalty of our rebellion against our Maker. If we trust in Jesus, we can be forgiven and united with Him for eternal life. Trust in Jesus and start living as you ought in communion with Him!