Why the Bible?

Posted under The Rectory Bulletin

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

As we draw this sixteen month run of emails to a close, I thought it appropriate to highlight four ways in which the Christian life may be sustained.

Now, it will come as a surprise to precisely none of you that I see that Bible as the foundational document for the Christian faith, and I should really explain why I believe this to be the case. In the end, the essential question at the heart of Christianity is: how do I know? Know anything about an infinite God, know anything about Jesus himself, know anything about what is required of me? You only have to look back over your own lifetime to see how fashions and values have changed. In fact, the change over the past fifteen years has been pretty staggering.

There’s a quote attributed to C S Lewis: “All that is not eternal is eternally useless”. In fast shifting sands, we are in need of a solid rock on which to stand. If we are to avoid the mistake of remaking God into whatever any period of time finds acceptable we need an eternal perspective. And this is where the Bible comes in.

In the Scriptures we have a document which spans many centuries, and has stood the test of the passing millennia. The church through the ages has attested to its inspired nature, and is has proved to be the link between us now and the church throughout the ages. Given it is the “Word of the Lord” it has an eternal relevance, and can also serve to challenge our sometimes lazy presuppositions.

Over the past twenty years I have spent plenty of long hours studying the Bible: for preaching; for lecturing; for writing; and for personal edification. The more I do this, the more I can echo the words of the Psalmist: “your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”.


Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God (Hebrews 13:16) - Christianity is not a private affair, but is lived out in the public sphere. As God has done good for us, so we do good for others and thereby win influence for the gospel.

Why Bother with Prayer?

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16) - At its base, prayer is consciously being in the presence of God. It is talking to God. It is an awareness that this is a place where God is, and that makes a difference. Some prayer may be wordless - at times words are hard to find - or a pouring out of the heart. It might be silent, spoken or written. Perhaps the written prayers of others might act as a ‘starter’ to begin prayer, or it might be that your own words flow more easily. Some wrestle in prayer at night, others might speak a single line in the midst of the day.

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