Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. (Mark 13:31)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor who opposed Hitler and the Nazi regime, believed in the divine inspiration, absolute authority, and universal truth of Scripture. Many theologians scoffed at this view, adopting a more modern approach that denied the Bible’s supernatural claims and rejected its historical accuracy. Bonhoeffer studied under influential professors of such persuasion but rejected their historical-critical liberalism to side with more traditional views on biblical revelation.
Although Bonhoeffer disagreed with his professors, they respected his clear logic and undeniable intelligence. When theological conservatives fell under pressure to compete for social prestige and cultural relevance, Bonhoeffer urged: “Do not try to make the Bible relevant. Its relevance is axiomatic [obvious]. Do not defend God’s Word, but testify to it . . . Trust to the Word.” Bonhoeffer was hanged by the Nazis but went to his death testifying to the truth of God’s Word.
When others dismiss the Bible as nothing more than a book written by a bunch of men or argue that the biblical canon was cleverly developed centuries after Christ as a way to control the masses, remember Bonhoeffer’s example. There is never a need to fear public opinion or question the truth of God’s Word. The Bible has withstood criticism—and outright hostility—for thousands of years; yet, it remains. And it will remain forever.
Trust God’s Word and let your daily life testify to its relevance.
Laura Hurd is an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church and holds a master’s degree from Wesley Seminary. She co-pastors with her husband, Jason, in rural Nebraska.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.