“If you wish to know God you must know his word; if you wish to perceive his power you must see how he worketh by his word; if you wish to know his purpose before it is actually brought to pass you can only discover it by his word.”

~ Charles Spurgeon

Anybody Have a Bible Handy?

Genesis 7: 17-20

A few years ago, well actually, a couple decades ago, I was invited to give a presentation to a Sunday school class at a mainline denominational church north of Dallas. On the agenda was a brief look at the apparent contradiction between what we read in the Bible and our scientific theories or understanding pertaining to creation. If there truly was a conflict, which way should the Christian lean and why? How was I able to resolve being a Christian who takes the Bible “literally”, and being a geoscientist? No plans to get into the topic now. At least not yet. Stay tuned.

I was at the point of describing Noah’s Flood and wanted to make the suggestion that being a world event, which some people argue, of catastrophic proportions, that the resultant sedimentary strata or evidence, would be significant. But first we wanted to see what the Bible had to say, so, I said, “Let’s take a look at Genesis chapter 7. Would someone read for us verses 17 through 20?” An uncomfortable silence came upon the group. There were about fifteen people in attendance. No one had a Bible! This was a Sunday school class, and nobody brought a Bible? No fear. The gentleman who obviously was “in charge” jumped up from his chair and dove into the cabinets, with the full intent of finding the stash of hidden Bibles. Perhaps they would be a bit dusty, but we could handle that. Nothing. There were some back and forth glances, body language apologies, a few shoulder shrugs, and then back to business. I read verses 17 through 20.

I hate to admit this to my readers, but there was a part of me, hopefully a hidden part, that enjoyed the panic. Forgive me. I actually considered just standing there with a disturbed expression on my face which meant, “I’m not in a rush. I am sure you can find a Bible somewhere in the church. Perhaps someone brought one to the Praise and Worship service in the main sanctuary?” But, I didn’t. Oh, I really wanted to.

And honestly, it was not particularly entertaining or funny. There were fifteen people present, and all sorts of bookshelves and cabinets in the Sunday school classroom, but not one Bible! What did they talk about when we weren’t discussing the topic of creation? Social Justice? Diversity? Progressivism? Travel plans? Golf?

When I led a Bible Study at work, I made sure we studied the Bible. Seemed like a reasonable thing to do. We wanted to know Jesus Christ. The biblical Jesus. I think you need a Bible to do that.

Tony Carvalho