Why Is There A Higher-Critical Problem?
Author: Robin D. Fish
Note: Creation Moments exists to provide Biblically sound materials to the Church in the area of Bible and science relationships. This Bible study may be reproduced for group use.
1. Many laymen, and most Bible-based pastors, are troubled and puzzled at the problem of the dissension against Scripture that we call “higher criticism.” The scholars who teach these Biblically destructive theories come from within the Church, not from outside. Then, too, Biblical archaeology has time and time again refuted the theories and answered the doubts of the critics of Scripture. Why do we have this problem? Why does this denial of Scripture not face the evidence and cease?
2. Many reasons have been offered historically for this failure of some so-called Bible scholars. Science, evolution, pride and ignorance have all been named as causes. In some respect they are, but the Bible gives us a picture of the true cause – of which the other “causes” are merely symptoms. The chief reason for this problem is sin. Sin dominates man and is fundamentally a part of man’s nature. Read Psalm 14:3. What does that say about man? Read Genesis 8:21. When does this problem start? Isaiah 64:6, how bad does this verse say the problem is?
3. The problem is man’s nature due to sin. This is the reason we need a Savior from sin. The result of this perversion of our nature by sin is serious. The Bible makes some very serious assertions about mankind, due to sin. Look up the following verses, and find out what each verse is saying about the natural man (before conversion into a child of God): 1 Corinthians 2:14, Ephesians 2:1, Romans 8:7. Man is, by nature, blind to God, dead spiritually (unable to do anything to help himself before God), and an enemy of God (the KJV word “enmity” means a burning, furious hatred).
4. This is the root of the problem. Man is unutterably hostile toward God, and unable to see God honestly anywhere, even in Scriptures. That is why we have the Bible-criticism problem. The result of this sinful nature is found in 1 Corinthians 12:3. What does this verse say?
5. But these scholars come from within the Church, so why the problem there? Look at Stephen’s explanation in Acts 7:51. These scholars resist God, as did the people at the time of Christ, Matthew 23:37. What is the problem then? The problem is that the unregenerate are trying to be teachers in the Church. They become quickly visible, however, as Scriptures say they will. What insight into this does Matthew 7:17 give us?
6. The specific sin is unbelief. These higher-critical scholars do not believe the Word of God. They will not accept what God says about Himself or His actions in history. Why? Read the answer for yourself in John 8:47. What does Jesus say the answer is?
7. The Bible has given us the understanding of this problem. They do not give up their denials of Scripture in the face of evidence because they are hostile to its Author. This is the foundation for many of the persistent, unreasonable, wrong-headed ideas of man, such as evolution. How does Romans 1:21-22 characterize men such as these teachers?
8. Our response to them must be first to pray for them, that they may come to the knowledge of the truth, as is the will of God. Secondly, we must avoid their teachings like the plague. It is wise to know what they teach, but foolish to ever begin to believe their doctrines. Thirdly, we must cling to the word and study it, that we may know the truth and teach it to others.
Conclude this study with a prayer for those blind guides, that they may be enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and for yourselves, that you may grow in grace and in knowledge of the Word.
1988 Bible Science Newsletter.
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