I remember like yesterday hearing my pastor Adrian Rogers in 1979 going through the amazing fulfilled prophecy of Ezekiel 26-28 and the story of the city of Tyre. In 1980 in my senior year (taught by Mark Brink) at Evangelical Christian High School, I watched the film series by Francis Schaeffer called WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? Later that same year I read the book by the same name and I was amazed at the historical accuracy of the Bible and the many examples from archaeology that Schaeffer gave and recently I have shared several of these in my current series on Schaeffer and the Beatles. The reason I did that was because many people in the 1960’s had taken non-rational leaps into such areas as communism, the occult, drugs, and eastern mysticism, but sitting right there in front of them was the historical accurate Bible which contained sufficient evidence to warrant trust.
(Adrian Rogers met with Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.)
(This was the average sanctuary crowd when I was growing up at Bellevue Baptist in Memphis)
Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows that politically Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan were my heroes. Spiritually my heroes have been both Francis Schaeffer and Adrian Rogers. An interesting fact about both of these two men and that is they both believed the Bible is the inspired and inerrant word of God. Both men defended the historical accuracy of the Bible even though both of the religious denominations they belonged to started to shift to the liberal view that the Bible contains errors in it.
|H. L. Mencken|
Francis Schaeffer’s battle on this issue came in the 1930’s when he got to know Dr. J. Gresham Machen was involved in a battle with the Presbyterian Church USA over their leftward shift in theology. Francis Schaeffer observed:
H.L. Mencken died when I was a young man and I read some of the stuff he wrote and he came at just the point of the total collapse of the American consensus back in the 1930’s or a little before. H.L.Mencken was very destructive to the American consensus and he was way out. It is he who said the famous thing about Dr. J. Gresham Machen. Dr. Machen was the man who was fighting the battle for historic Christianity against the liberals in the big denominations and expressly the Presbyterian denomination and the liberals were trying to laugh Machen out of court. But H.L. Mencken said a remarkable thing, “Well, if you really want to be a Christian there is only one kind of Christian to be and that is the Machen kind.” This is wonderful. This is exactly where the battlefield is. When you take Christianity and chip away at it like the liberals wanted to do then you don’t have anything left. This is no halfway war. If you are going to be a Christian you have to be a biblical Christian. Machen and Mencken understood this and this is my position too.
Adrian Rogers also was that type of Christian too. Recently a relative told me that his Bible Study Teacher at the church he started attended recently started a series on Genesis and he said on the front end that evolution is true. I encouraged my relative to ask the simple question: DO YOU BELIEVE IN A LITERAL “ADAM AND EVE?” I sent him the sermon on Evolution by Adrian Rogers and here is a portion of it below:
H. G. Wells, the brilliant historian who wrote The Outlines of History, said this—and I quote: “If all animals and man evolved, then there were no first parents, and no Paradise, and no Fall. If there had been no Fall, then the entire historic fabric of Christianity, the story of the first sin, and the reason for the atonement, collapses like a house of cards.” H. G. Wells says—and, by the way, I don’t believe that he did believe in creation—but he said, “If there’s no creation, then you’ve ripped away the foundation of Christianity.”
Now, the Bible teaches that man was created by God and that he fell into sin. The evolutionist believes that he started in some primordial soup and has been coming up and up. And, these two ideas are diametrically opposed. What we call sin the evolutionist would just call a stumble up. And so, the evolutionist believes that all a man needs—he’s just going up and up, and better and better—he needs a boost from beneath. The Bible teaches he’s a sinner and needs a birth from above. And, these are both at heads, in collision.
What is evolution? Evolution is man’s way of hiding from God, because, if there’s no creation, there is no Creator. And, if you remove God from the equation, then sinful man has his biggest problem removed—and that is responsibility to a holy God. And, once you remove God from the equation, then man can think what he wants to think, do what he wants to do, be what he wants to be, and no holds barred, and he has no fear of future judgment.
Actually Francis Schaeffer’s good friend Paige Patterson talked Adrian Rogers into running for President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1979 and the liberal shift was halted. In the article “Francis Schaeffer ‘indispensable’ to SBC,” (Thursday, October 30, 2014,) David Roach wrote:
The late Francis Schaeffer was known to pick up the phone during the early years of the Southern Baptist Convention’s conservative resurgence. Paige Patterson knew to expect a call from Schaeffer around Christmas with the question, “You’re not growing weary in well-doing are you?”
Patterson, a leader in the movement to return the SBC to a high view of Scripture, would reply, “No, Dr. Schaeffer. I’m under fire, but I’m doing fine. And I’m trusting the Lord and proceeding on.”
To some it may seem strange that an international Presbyterian apologist and analyst of pop culture would take such interest in a Baptist controversy over biblical inerrancy.
But to Schaeffer it made perfect sense.
He believed churches were acquiescing to the world, abandoning their belief that the Bible is without error in everything it said. A watered-down theology left the SBC with decreased power to battle cultural evils. To Schaeffer the convention was the last major American denomination with hope for reversing this “great evangelical disaster,” as he put it.
Thirty years after Schaeffer’s death, Baptist leaders still remember how he took time from his speaking, writing and filmmaking schedule to quietly encourage Patterson; Paul Pressler, a judge from Texas with whom Patterson worked closely during the conservative resurgence; Adrian Rogers, a Memphis pastor who served three terms SBC president; and others.
By the early 1990s, conservatives had elected an unbroken string of convention presidents and moved in position to shift the balance of power on all convention boards and committees from the theologically moderate establishment. But at the time of Schaeffer’s annual calls, the outcome of the controversy was still in doubt.
“I strongly suspect that he was afraid I would not hold strong,” Patterson, now president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas, told Baptist Press. “He had seen so many people fold up under pressure that he assumed we probably would too. So he would call and ask for a report.”
Schaeffer’s interest in engaging culture made him particularly appealing to Southern Baptist conservatives. He helped provide them with a “battle plan” to fight cultural evils and what they perceived as theological drift in their denomination, Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, told BP.
Along with theologian Carl F.H. Henry, Schaeffer was the key intellectual influence on leaders of the conservative resurgence, Land said. When conservatives started to be elected as the executives of Baptist institutions, Henry spoke at Land’s inauguration at the Christian Life Commission (the ERLC’s precursor), R. Albert Mohler Jr.’s at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky and Timothy George’s at Beeson Divinity School in Alabama.
“If Schaeffer had still been alive, we would have had him come,” Land said. He noted that Schaeffer was “close” to Rogers and “admired” by Bailey Smith, two conservative SBC presidents. Edith Schaeffer and Patterson’s wife Dorothy were close friends and traveled together in the early 1980s speaking on the importance of the home.
Clark Pinnock, a former New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary professor who mentored conservative resurgence leaders before taking a leftward theological turn in his own thinking, served on Schaeffer’s staff at L’Abri.
Paige Patterson and Adrian Rogers share a time of prayer in the early moments of the Conservative Resurgence movement within the Southern Baptist Convention.
Ron Dunn with Adrian Rogers above
Dr. Francis Schaeffer: The Biblical Flow of History & Truth
Mount Sinai is one of the most important sites of the entire Bible. It was here that the Hebrew people came shortly after their flight from Egypt. Here God spoke to them through Moses, giving them directions for their life as newly formed nation and making a covenant with them.
The thing to notice about this epochal moment for Israel is the emphasis on history which the Bible itself makes. Time and time again Moses reminds the people of what has happened on Mount Sinai:
Deuteronomy 4:11-12New International Version (NIV)
11 You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fireto the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness. 12 Then the Lordspoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form;there was only a voice.
Moses emphasized that those alive at the time had actually heard God’s voice. They had received God’s direct communication in words. They were eyewitnesses of what had occurred–they saw the cloud and the mountain burning with fire. They saw and they heard. Moses says, on the basis of what they themselves have seen and heard in their own lifetime, they are not to be afraid of their present or future enemies.
On the same basis too, Moses urges them to obey God: “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen…” (Deuteronomy 4:9)
Thus the people’s confidence and trust in God and their obedience to Him are alike rooted in truth that is historical and open to observation…The relationship between God and His people was not based on an upward experience inside their own heads, but upon a reality which was seen and heard. They were called to obey God not because of a leap of faith, but because of God’s real acts in history. For God is the LIVING GOD….”Religious Truth” according to the Bible involves the same sort of truth which people operate on in their everyday lives. If something is true, then its opposite cannot also be true.
Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Faith, Seeing & Believing
John 21:1-14New International Version (NIV)
Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish
21 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee.[a] It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus[b]), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[c] 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
The resurrected Christ stood there on the beach of the Sea of Galilee. Before the disciples reached the shore, He had already prepared a fire with fish cooking on it for them to eat. It was a fire that could be seen and felt; the fire cooked the fish, and the fish and bread could be eaten for breakfast.
When the fire died down, it left ashes on the beach; the disciples were well fed with bread and fish and Christ’s footprints would have been visible on the beach…
Thomas, Christ tells us, should have believed the ample evidence given to him of the physical evidence of the resurrection by the other apostles. Christ rebuked him for not accepting this evidence.He at that time and we today have the same sufficient witness of those who have seen and heard and were able to touch the resurrected Christ and were able to observe what He had done.
Because Thomas insisted on seeing and touching we have a more sure witness than we otherwise would have had. In the testimony of those who saw and heard we have a sure witness and this includes Thomas’ doubt and his personal verification which removed that doubt. WE SHOULD BOW BEFORE THE TOTAL WITNESS OF THE RECORD WHICH WE HAVE IN THE BIBLE, OF THE TESTIMONY OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE UNIVERSE AND IT’S FORM AND THE UNIQUENESS OF MAN. IT IS ENOUGH! BELIEVE HE HAS RISEN.
John 20:24-29New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
In the appendix of his book, He Is There and He Is Not Silent, Francis Schaeffer wrote a little piece called “Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?” Schaeffer explains that, “To modern man, and much modern theology, the concept of propositional revelation and the historic Christian view of infallibility is not so much mistaken as meaningless” (345). The 20th century came with many challenges to theological formulation, not the least of which was the assault on propositional truth and revelation. Such camps as existentialists and logical positivists attempted to remove religious truth from the reason and revelation while others sought to justify meaning, reality, and truth with other criterion of verification such as experience and perception. However, center to the Christian faith is the belief that God has spoken and revealed himself in the written Word of God. In this revelation, God used language as the medium to carry and convey biblical truths and realities. This is not to say that God has revealed himself exhaustively, but it does mean that he has revealed himself truly and definitively. Schaeffer makes two points which I would like to mention here:
- Even communication between one created person and another is not exhaustive; but that does not mean that for that reason it is not true.
- If the uncreated Personal really cared for the created personal, it could not be thought unthinkable for him to tell the created personal things of a propositional nature; otherwise, as a finite being, the created personal would have numerous things he could not know if he just began with himself as a limited, finite reference point.
Schaffer makes some salient points here that deserve to be brought up in the 21stcentury. While we do not disagree that revelation is also personal, we cannot flinch on the assault on propositional revelation. God has revealed himself to us, his nature and his acts, through propositional revelation (i.e. the Bible), and the implications of this truth is that we do not have the rights to reinvent or rename the God Who Is There. If we do not begin with God and his revelation, Schaeffer is correct to conclude that there are many things we could not know about God based on such a limited, finite reference point as ourselves. It is no coincidence that, at the time of Schaeffer’s publishing of this book (1972), John Hick was advancing his pluralistic hypothesis which argued for the ineffability of the “Real” which argued that one cannot know anything about God as he is (ding an sich).Adapting the Kantian model of the noumenal and phenomenal worlds, Hick argues that God (“Real”) has not and cannot reveal himself truly and definitely; furthermore, it is impossible to know anything at all about the Real (except that it is ineffable and that it exists which is something he claims to know). The result when God is not the beginning, the reference point, the apriori grounds of knowledge and revelation, then knowing and defining God is a free-for-all to anyone who wants to postulate their phenomenological interpretations as religious truth. Schaeffer concludes his little article with this important paragraph in which he said:
“The importance of all this is that most people today (including some who still call themselves evangelical) who have given up the historical and biblical concept of revelation and infallibility have not done so because of the consideration of detailed problems objectively approached, but because they have accepted, either in analyzed fashion or blindly, the other set of presuppositions. Often this has taken place by means of cultural injection, without their realizing what has happened to them” (349, emphasis added).
In the days ahead, I hope to share how propositional truth is foundational to personal truth and give a few examples of the redefinition of revelation in contemporary contexts.
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)
You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicle, of Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism), 4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites, 6.Shishak Smiting His Captives, 7. Moabite Stone, 8. Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, 9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets. 10. Cyrus Cylinder, 11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E., 12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription, 13. The Pilate Inscription, 14. Caiaphas Ossuary, 14 B Pontius Pilate Part 2, 14c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.,