Atheists and skeptics often raise the question, “How do you know that the religious writings of the Hindus, the Moslems, and others are wrong, and only the Bible is right?” How would you answer that question? Why should they believe that the Bible is the Word of God?
The Bible is Self-evidently God's Word
One way to answer it would be to point out that if they would seriously read the Bible, without prejudice, they would plainly see that it is God's Word. As the Westminster Confession of Faith says:
… the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man's salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God... (WCF 1:5)
The Bible evidences itself to be God's Word. Things that are “self-evident” do not need further proof. If God had given us a book, wouldn't we expect it to bear upon its pages the stamp of His genius? Would it not be filled with wonders, just like the world that He has made? Could such a book possibly be mistaken for a merely human product by any right-minded person?
As anyone knows who has read extensively in the Bible, and also in such books as the Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Book of Mormon and the I Ching, none of the so-called “holy books” of man-made religions compares to the Bible. The Bible was the first, and the rest are counterfeits. The Bible is rooted in real history, and was written by eyewitnesses to the events it records, over a period of time spanning thousands of years. It contains writings of the highest quality in every genre, by men of every station; yet notwithstanding all the variety, there is a fundamental unity of doctrine and purpose. The Bible progressively unfolds the divine revelation of the Savior of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ. It comprehends all that is necessary to be known for our salvation. It is a complete rule of faith and practice. There is no other book that even approaches it.
The Bible Reveals the God we already Know is There
Second, I know that the Bible is the Word of God because I discover in the pages of Scripture the very God that I have known all my life. I was not brought up a Christian, though there were some influences from time to time. Nevertheless, when I was converted in my 19th year, it was not to a God wholly unknown before.
Deep inside, I knew God, and my conscience often stirred up a fear of Him. Sometimes, when I was in trouble, I prayed. I knew that right and wrong are not just rules made up by my parents, or by society. I knew that truth is the same everywhere and at all times and finally inescapable. When God called me, I knew who was calling and why, for I knew that my life was wicked, and had no trouble believing that I needed to repent and sue for mercy, or I would surely go to hell.
Christianity is the Only True Religion
How do I know that Christianity is the only true religion? First, because all religions cannot be true. They all contradict each other, and most of them make the same claim of exclusive truth that Christianity does. This leaves us with two options. Either none of the religions of the world are true, or only one of them is. Atheists take the first position. But they have no right to claim that anything is true, because “truth” has no meaning and no basis in a world without God. One can only assert a point of view, for the rational basis of meaning and of knowledge would be missing in such a world. Atheism therefore refutes itself whenever it claims to be the truth!
Do you realize that it is impossible to even conceive of a world without God? It is an exercise in pure irrationality! For it is impossible to say anything “true” about anything unless there is something called “truth” that applies to the propositions that I state. And it is obvious that this thing called truth must be omnipresent (the same everywhere) and unchangeable (the same at all times). But how can such a thing exist of itself? Where could it come from? How could it exist in an impersonal universe? It cannot stand alone – it can only be conceived of as an attribute of the eternal, omnipresent, self-existing, unchangeable God!
Atheism is against everything we know to be true. It is nihilistic by nature.
Christianity, on the other hand, is the truth. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
The Incomparable Christ
Which brings me to the ultimate argument for the exclusive truth of Christianity: Christ Himself! The man depicted in the pages of the New Testament is wholly unique in all of human history and in all the writings of mankind. It is not enough to say that He was a good man, or a great man. He is altogether beyond comparison, unprecedented, without equal! He does things, says things that were never heard before – things so memorable for their nobility and beauty that even His enemies often admit their admiration.
No one could have invented this person. To do so would have required an author who was at the same time of the most elevated mind, and a deliberate deceiver.
Jesus cannot be both a good man and only a man, for He claimed most emphatically to be God. Not only that, but He made this claim the center of the faith He proclaimed, saying “He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” and “If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins.”
This same Jesus uttered a prophecy so unlikely, so contrary to all the expectations of the Jews and his followers, so remarkable for detail, and so completely fulfilled long after He left this earth, that it must be seen as one of the strongest proofs of His divinity. I refer to the prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, and the ages-long dispersion of the Jews predicted in the Olivet discourse.
Furthermore, He predicted His death, the manner of it, the meaning of it, and His triumph over it! His resurrection put an exclamation point to all the mighty miracles of His life, which He did almost casually and routinely through the course of His ministry. (No one dared to dispute the miracles while He lived; the Jews just said they didn't prove His claims!)
Yes, we can know beyond all doubt that the Bible is true, for in it we find Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ bears witness to its infallible truth.
Howard Douglas King