Why You Need to be Able to Show that the Bible is No Email Scam
If you haven’t gotten the email, you probably know someone who has:
“I am Mohammed Abacha,the son of the late Nigerian Head of State who died on the 8th of June 1998… I have secretly deposited the sum of $30,000,000.00 …I am proposing a 20% share of the fund to you for your kind assistance…contact me at once via email with following details:…”
The email then asks for various pieces of information. It is a well-known scam. Everybody knows that responding to the email will not result in a 20% share in this fortune. So, what does this have to do with Jesus?
For many people in today’s culture, when we share the gospel with them, they see it as just another version of the Nigerian Prince scam. If they will only give Jesus their lives, they will receive their “share” of the “fortune.” (Eternal life.). To them, the offer has the same credibility.
“That’s ridiculous,” you may say, “the Gospel is not the same as the Nigerian scam.” I know that, and you know that. However, they don’t. In the culture in which many of us grew up (those of us 40 or over) it would have been enough to show that the Bible supports our claim. However, in the climate of skepticism in today’s culture, to appeal to the Bible is no different than appealing to the email. This is where apologetics comes in. You need to be able to show the reliability of the Bible. Issues we need to be able to address include:
- Is the Bible we read the Bible that was written?
- Is what the Bible says true?
- Why should I live according to the Bible?
I address the first issue here. Unlike Mr. Abacha, for whom we have no background information or witnesses to his character, we have multiple sources for the authors of the Gospel. Furthermore, we have a number of historical facts that only make sense if what they wrote was true.
With respect to the other two, if what the Bible says is true, it follows that we ought to live as such. This is another point in which the Bible is not the same as the scam email. There is no obligation to do what you are asked in the email, even if it was true.
This is what is meant when we say Christians need to able to argue for the Christian faith. It doesn’t mean getting in people’s faces and yelling. It means making your case and presenting your evidence, something that Mr. Apacha fails to do.