by Karla Perry
We all know of the classic Jimmy Stewart movie It’s a Wonderful Life where we are whisked into an epic tale that unveils what life would be like without George Bailey. We find his wife a spinster. His children exist only in his memories. Where he saved a life, there was death. Where he brought prosperity to a town, there was only poverty. Homes he saved for families were now lost to the bank. When you move one person from the equation, all that follows is forever altered onto a different course of life entirely.
What if we removed one book from the world? What if that one book was the Bible?
What would the world look like without the Bible? I think many of us, Christians included, would be surprised to find out what would go missing if we didn’t have God’s revelation embedded into the very fabric of our modern world.
Time did not create the modern world. Humanity did not live long enough upon the earth to reach progression of all things modern. If this were so, we would see modernity in all the nations of the world. Thinking has not evolved. We do not have better IQ’s than our ancient ancestors. There is nothing remarkable to separate us from the ancient world except two things.
The first is that Jesus came and set us free from sin. For the first time in the history of the world we could live prone to righteousness instead of slaves to sin.
The second remarkable change is that the Bible went viral. No longer were the Scriptures confined to Israel or locked up in the Church in a language no one spoke, but via the Protestant Reformation, they were translated and given to the people. The Bible impacted the world in ways that forever altered its trajectory. Time did not create the modern world, but Truth did.
A land without the Bible would be a land without literacy, public education, science, history, hospitals, progress, sustained innovation, banks, free enterprise, liberty, healthy working relationships, stability, and free nations. The list goes on.
Today we are witnessing the entropy of modernity. The modern world is decaying. It is not a sign of the times, it is a sign of the truth slipping away from cultural institutions. Our civilization is breaking away from our biblical foundation. It is not doing so because it is time for the world to grow dark, it is doing so because the light is hidden in a subculture world of Christianity. We forgot we are the light of the world, and without us the world goes dark.
The world does not need us to stand up against them. It needs us to stand up for them with our light shining brightly for all to share in His liberating truth. The Bible is not for our bookshelves. It is not for our devotions alone. It is the truth that releases a dark world into the light.
The Bible makes an enormous impact on the world as we know it. Civilization coming into the industrial age, the age of technology, the information age. All of these would never have burst upon the scene without the foundation that makes our exploration possible. Imagine a world with no NASA. No public education. No doctors and nurses. No ambulances and firetrucks. No philanthropic organizations. No Declaration of Independence. No Constitution. The worldview behind each of these requires biblical truth at its core.
Without the Bible, there would have been no William Wilberforce heralding the end to the slave trade and subsequently slavery. There would have been no grounds for Martin Luther King Jr. to declare “I have a dream!” There would have been no grounds for Jefferson to write “. . . all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. . .”
Without God’s truth given to us by special revelation and written down correctly into the Bible we would not have a modern world. We would not know truth.
Certainly, the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth, but what if, like those believers in Acts, we had not heard there was a Holy Spirit? How can we know if someone does not tell us? How can someone tell us if it is not revealed first somewhere as true truth? How would we know that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life if God had not inspired John to write this truth down for us? The Scriptures are not eternal life, Jesus is, but you wouldn’t know that without them.
Let us never become a nation that finds out what life is like without the Bible. Reformation begins now with each of us. Such is the Great Commission.