NASHVILLE, Tenn.?Christians must reclaim intellectual ground they surrendered years ago by being equipped to explain why they believe the Bible, Houston-area evangelist Voddie Baucham told the SBC Pastors’ Conference.
Preaching during its opening session June 19, Baucham, a Houston-area evangelist, lamented that many Christians, in response to the rise of rationalism and secular humanism, retreated years ago from intellectual pursuits and some have instead taken a mystical view of their faith.
“We are at a place where theology and doctrine are bad words. We are at a place where there’s a generation coming up that will believe anything if you say it with enough feeling. So there is an intellectual wall that needs to be rebuilt. We need to be a people who continue to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind, and all our strength.”
Preaching from 2 Peter 1:16-21, Baucham said that passage is foundational for answering the most crucial question that Christians can answer: “Why do you choose to believe the Bible?”
Some will answer, “‘Well, I believe the Bible because I was raised like that.’ Well, bless your spirit if that’s your answer. But please, don’t go out of here and say that to anybody.”
Baucham said others will answer that they believe the Bible because it works for them. “My mother’s Buddhism worked for her,” Baucham noted. “That’s why she was a Buddhist. I need something more than ‘Because it works.'”
“Here’s the answer. I give it to you and I’ll unpack it for you: I choose to believe the Bible because it’s a reliable collection of historical documents written down by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses. They report supernatural events in fulfillment of specific prophecies and claim that their writings are divine rather than human in origin.”
Baucham said Peter’s words in 2 Peter 1 lay the foundation for an argument for the Bible’s authority. First, in verse 16, Peter wrote that the disciples did not follow “cleverly devised tales.” And in verse 21, “But men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
Further, Baucham said, eyewitnesses recorded the New Testament documents during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses, as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15, which says the resurrected Christ was seen by more than 500 brothers at once, most of whom were still alive at Paul’s writing.
Baucham cited prophecies such as Psalm 22, part of which Jesus quoted on the cross and which foreshadows details of Jesus’ crucifixion.
“Folks, that was written 1,000 years before by a man who had never witnessed crucifixion because it had not been invented.”
“We have got to teach the people of God, number one, that the Bible has the answer, and number two, how to learn and give it,” Baucham continued. “Anybody who can learn this passage in