What A Relevant Book The Bible Is!

Written in November 2005
Ajith Fernando

             Some of you know that I am trying to write a commentary on Deuteronomy. I am presently working on the Ten Commandments. When working on the command not to murder I decided to compile a list, from the murder stories and comments about murder recorded in the Bible, of the things that trigger murderous intentions in people. I was thrilled to see again how wonderfully relevant the Bible is. Here’s my list:

In the first murder Cain’s jealousy that God accepted his brother Abel’s sacrifice, and not his, led him to kill Abel (Gen. 4:1-16).

What an amazing list this is! Almost every conceivable trigger for murder is found in this list of murders. It shows what a relevant book the Bible is!

The only kind of murderer found today which I did not see in the Bible was the psychotic serial killer. This may have been because such are usually found in highly individualistic cultures where the family unit is not so binding and where it is possible for a person to become so separate from the rest of society that he or she could act in such a highly individualistic way. That was not the culture of societies in biblical times.

If the Bible is such a relevant book, why is it that church in this generation is using it so little? Why is it that people are reaching the Bible less and that expository preaching so scarce in the church today? I think there are several reasons. Let me state three.

How we long to see Christians experience what David said he desired from the word: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psa. 119:18). We need to rediscover the joy of truth. Evangelists for the gospel have had a treasured place in church history. Today we need to go one step back and have a new kind of evangelist who will open the way for people to think that such bodies of truth as gospels are worth considering. We need evangelists for truth who will show that truth is still a vitally important and attractive value.