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When I talk with secular Christians (those who claim to be Christians but believe in evolution, Keynesianism, Marxism, or "liberalism"), I'm always told that I cannot trust the Bible to give authoritative answers in whatever field we are discussing. The evolutionist says, "The Bible is not a textbook on geology" or biology or whatever. The Keynesian says, "The Bible is not a textbook on economics." The liberal says "The Bible is not a textbook on political science." Whatever the discipline, the Bible is "not a textbook" in that field.
The implication is clear: the Bible is only a textbook on "religion." This is no threat to the secular Christian, because he has relegated "religion" to the "upper-story" of his life, which at best takes only one hour on Sunday morning. Religion is hermetically sealed off from every other area of life.
In fact, for these people, the Bible is not even a textbook on religion. Name one secular university religion class that uses the Bible as a textbook, that is, teaches religion as the Bible says religion should be taught. Sure, the Bible is an "exhibit" in most religion classes, along with Greek and Roman mythology, the Bhagvad Gita, and the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh. But it has no more authority in the religion class than these pagan religion texts.
If the Bible is not a textbook of science and economics,
When the Bible is said to not be a textbook in any area of life, then the true authority in every field is the religion of Secular Humanism.
The issue here is not facts: not science, not history, not economics, not politics. The issue is morality. The secularist is saying, "Keep your morality out of my life." What is right and what is wrong for these secularists is determined by the scientists, or the economists, or the politicians -- any "expert" but Moses and the Prophets; any authority but God.
Even worse than saying the Bible is a textbook on geology is saying that the Bible is an infallible textbook on geology. This means that when the Bible speaks of a world-wide flood at the time of Noah, there is no option but to accept it and make it the foundation of all geological theories and explanations. What makes this so offensive is not the facts that would remain unexplained by bringing the Bible into the classroom (for more facts are explained by the Bible than by uniformitarianism), but by the actions in our lives that would be scrutinized and judged by the Bible. This is what motivated the rise of evolutionism.
|If the Bible is a textbook for the geologist, it means he faces God's Judgment for his political life.||Darwin wrote of his victory over Noah, and his joy that
the Bible was no longer a textbook on geology:
No doubt his belief produced great relief.
Sir Julian Huxley articulates the secular equivalent of "whew!":
|If the Bible is a textbook for the politician, it means he faces God's Judgment for his sexual exploitation and his perjury.||The lines were vividly drawn by Aldous Huxley, grandson
of "Darwin's Bulldog," Thomas H. Huxley:
To say that the Bible is a textbook on geology is not to say that it contains every formula, every date, every molecular structure. Consider Orlin Grabbe's textbook on International Financial Markets. While it may discuss digital cash, foreign currencies, "forwards," "swaps" and interest parity, there are many subjects it does not discuss. Does this mean it is no longer a textbook?
There are many subjects not discussed in the Bible, and many facts not mentioned. It is, nevertheless, the Word of God, and it governs us in every area of life, and whatever it states on any subject of life, it is our infallible authority. What makes this proposition so offensive is that the Bible addresses every area of our lives. God claims jurisdiction over every action, every thought.
Consider the Table of Contents from Rushdoony's Institutes of Biblical Law. Under the pattern of the Decalogue, Rushdoony surveys all the case laws, prophetic utterances, and the commands of the Lord and His Apostles. Decades of study are evident in hundreds of footnotes to "secular" sources, to which Biblical Law is applied in detail (over 3000 Biblical citations). It can be seen that no area of life is not addressed by God's Law. Most evangelicals would never think to apply the Bible's authoritative and concrete direction to such problems as these:
It is obvious that The Institutes of Biblical Law is no gushy, "pious" devotional reader. It is a pathbreaking, foundational Reconstruction of Law, Politics, Jurisprudence, and Social Morality. Every Christian Lawyer should read the book from cover to cover (849 pages). Every political scientist should do the same. It is not the last word, but it is the first word in generations attempting to rigorously apply Biblical laws to the problems of contemporary society from a Bible-believing perspective. The importance of Rushdoony's Institutes and of the "Theonomic" movement in general is not in the details of their applications, but the inescapable conclusion that the Bible provides all the Law we need to apply to the facts of our lives.
Rushdoony and the Reconstructionists have completely challenged the prevailing "piety" of the Protestant and Evangelical churches. Breaking asunder the previously impenetrable barrier between the "clergy" and the "real world," Rushdoony shows how every believer-priest must apply the Word of God to every area of his life. Since its publication (1973), the Reconstructionists have continued to apply God's Word to contemporary problems in new areas and in new ways.
We may disagree with his applications and interpretations, but we must begin where Rushdoony begins: with the recognition that the Lord claims sovereignty over all the earth, and has given us His Law in written form in the Bible. Every Christian, in whatever capacity he exercises his gifts, must bring every thought captive to the lordship of Christ. Lawyers are not excepted. Nor are judges, politicians, educators, scientists, and all others involved in "secular" matters. The Bible is not an out-dated document for the "religious," for "church-workers," and for the "ordained clergy" and other ecclesiastics. God's Law governs all men.
The Bible is a textbook on every subject.
Jay Adams: The Bible is a textbook on Counseling
THE BIBLE IS A TEXTBOOK OF SCIENCE by Henry M. Morris*
Is the Bible a Textbook? - John W. Robbins
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