Is the Bible Really the Word of God?
The Proper Cure for the Disease
John Warwick Montgomery tells us a parable:
A great king (God) had a son (mankind) who had grown up out of contact with his father. While journeying in a distant province the son fell seriously ill. The doctor accompanying him (reason) was incapable of treating the disease, but the king, learning of his son’s plight, sent instructions (the gospel) for the healing of the boy. However, the king’s numerous enemies also discovered what had happened, and they likewise sent remedies – purporting to come from the king – which were actually poisonous (non-Christian religious and philosophical options). The son’s solution to this dilemma was to evaluate the remedies by three tests: first, what each remedy revealed about his father (comparison being made with the likeness to the father possessed by the son himself); second, how accurately each remedy pictured the nature of the disease; and thirdly, how sound the various curative methods appeared to be. With the help of the doctor, the son finally made his decision in terms of the remedy that best satisfied all three tests. (1)
Montgomery proposes three tests. The first test is “What each remedy revealed about the son’s father.” Evidence from the creation (2) strongly argues for the existence of a god who is personal, powerful, eternal, wise, and moral. The Bible declares all of these attributes of God.
Montgomery’s second test is “How accurate each remedy pictures the nature of the disease.” Many of the liberal and humanistic religions stress the basic goodness of man’s nature. They say corruption comes from society. This goes contrary to the facts of history and logic (see ‘People are Basically Good’ – Proof to the Contrary). History reveals that man is not basically good; he is basically selfish and sinful. The liberal view is also illogical because society is a group of individual people. To blame the situation of the world on society is to blame it on people. This is exactly what the Bible teaches: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Montgomery’s third test is “How sound the various curative methods appear to be.” If God has revealed Himself in propositional form, that revelation would have certain properties due to His infinite knowledge and moral perfection:
- It would be entirely true – His infinite knowledge would prevent errors and His truthfulness would keep Him from deception.
- It would be a coherent unity, therefore not self- contradictory.
- It would contain God’s will for man, and provide the motivation to live according to that will (3).