By Jared Ratcliff | November 1, 2019
The story is told of a Christian pastor who was eating a meal with some friends, representing various religious groups, when one challenged him with the question of why Christians look to the Bible as the only true holy book. When the pastor explained that the Bible was written by different authors over thousands of years, all inspired by the Holy Spirit, and contained all the knowledge necessary for salvation, his friend countered that this was also true of his own scriptures, the Bhagavad Gita. The pastor described how the Bible gives a record of God’s acts in history, illustrating the Bible’s doctrines. His friend responded that the other scriptures like the Quran did the same thing. The pastor, now desperate, responded that the Bible, both old and new testaments, tell a story about God’s character that no other religion teaches. “What is that?” the friend questioned. “Grace,” the pastor responded, explaining how the Bible teaches that God created us so that He could expand His circle of love, how He sent His Son to die in our place, so that we can be totally forgiven, and how we have a heaven to look forward to, not because of our behavior, but because of His character of love. After a long silence, the friend replied, “The Bhagavad Gita teaches many good things about the Creator. But it says nothing about grace. Only your Holy Scriptures teach that salvation depends on God, not on us. You are right. Grace is what makes your Scriptures special.”1
We have a special book in our hands. The Bible gives us a picture of God’s character—God’s heart and love for humanity, so great that for the last 6,000 years, He has been occupied with nothing else but saving the people on our frail but beautifully created planet. This God that so greatly loves us gave us this book—His words, spoken through inspired human authors, written down, and carefully preserved. And through thousands of years, this Book has been held in such high esteem by humans that it has been preserved, hidden, memorized, taught, learned, and translated, often at the risk of imprisonment or death. These people gave their lives for the sake of this Book, for they understood what we, too, understand—the Bible is the written word of God, committing to humanity the knowledge necessary for salvation, the supreme, authoritative, and infallible revelation of God’s will, a pillar of our message.
All we believe about God and His will comes from within its covers. The Bible is the foundation of our faith, a gift from the Heart of God.
1. Dick Duerkson. The Holy Scriptures. bit.ly/2Nw1H73
Jared Ratcliff is a young adult currently attending Wenatchee Valley College, pursuing a career in healthcare. Jared enjoys outdoor recreation, including hiking, camping, and kayaking. He enjoys photography and design work, and is the Cashmere SDA web developer. He also enjoys writing, and works as an English tutor for the college he attends.