The Bible Isn't Difficult, It Just Wasn't Meant For Everyone To Understand.

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Lifeasweknowit, May 28, 2013.

  1. I enjoyed this article and agree with it. I wanted to get some of your thoughts on it. Hope all of you are having a blessed and wonderful day.

    Why People Find the Bible Difficult

    by A. W. Tozer

    Chapter 6 from Man: The Dwelling Place of God (Camp Hill, Penn: Christian Publications, 1966).
    [​IMG]That many persons find the Bible hard to understand will not be denied by those acquainted with the facts. Testimony to the difficulties encountered in Bible reading is too full and too widespread to be dismissed lightly.

    In human experience there is usually a complex of causes rather than but one cause for everything, and so it is with the difficulty we run into with the Bible. To the question, Why is the Bible hard to understand? no snap answer can be given; the pert answer is sure to be the wrong one. The problem is multiple instead of singular, and for this reason the effort to find a single solution to it will be disappointing.

    In spite of this I venture to give a short answer to the question, and while it is not the whole answer it is a major one and probably contains within itself most of the answers to what must be an involved and highly complex question. I believe that we find the Bible difficult because we try to read it as we would read any other book, and it is not the same as any other book.

    The Bible is not addressed to just anybody. Its message is directed to a chosen few. Whether these few are chosen by God in a sovereign act of election or are chosen because they meet certain qualifying conditions I leave to each one to decide as he may, knowing full well that his decision will be determined by his basic beliefs about such matters as predestination, free will, the eternal decrees and other related doctrines. But whatever may have taken place in eternity, it is obvious what happens in time: Some believe and some do not; some are morally receptive and some are not; some have spiritual capacity and some have not. It is to those who do and are and have that the Bible is addressed. Those who do not and are not and have not will read it in vain.

    Right here I expect some readers to enter strenuous objections, and for reasons not hard to find. Christianity today is man-centered, not God-centered. God is made to wait patiently, even respectfully, on the whims of men. The image of God currently popular is that of a distracted Father, struggling in heartbroken desperation to get people to accept a Saviour of whom they feel no need and in whom they have very little interest. To persuade these self-sufficient souls to respond to His generous offers God will do almost anything, even using salesmanship methods and talking down to them in the chummiest way imaginable. This view of things is, of course, a kind of religious romanticism which, while it often uses flattering and sometimes embarassing terms in praise of God, manages nevertheless to make man the star of the show.

    The notion that the Bible is addressed to everybody has wrought confusion within and without the church. The effort to apply the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount to the unregenerate nations of the world is one example of this. Courts of law and the military powers of the earth are urged to follow the teachings of Christ, an obviously impossible thing for them to do. To quote the words of Christ as guides for policemen, judges and generals is to misunderstand those words completely and to reveal a total lack of understanding of the purposes of divine revelation. The gracious words of Christ are for the sons and daughters of grace, not for the Gentile nations whose chosen symbols are the lion, the eagle, the dragon and the bear.

    Not only does God address His words of truth to those who are able to receive them, He actually conceals their meaning from those who are not. The preacher uses stories to make truth clear; our Lord often used them to obscure it. The parables of Christ were the exact opposite of the modern "illustration," which is meant to give light; the parables were "dark sayings" and Christ asserted that He sometimes used them so that His disciples could understand and His enemies could not. (See Matthew 13:10-17.) As the pillar of fire gave light to Israel but was cloud and darkness to the Egyptians, so our Lord's words shine in the hearts of His people but leave the self-confident unbeliever in the obscurity of moral night.

    The saving power of the Word is reserved for those for whom it is intended. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him. The impenitent heart will find the Bible but a skeleton of facts without flesh or life or breath. Shakespeare may be enjoyed without penitence; we may understand Plato without believing a word he says; but penitence and humility along with faith and obedience are necessary to a right understanding of the Scriptures.

    In natural matters faith follows evidence and is impossible without it, but in the realm of the spirit faith precedes understanding; it does not follow it. The natural man must know in order to believe; the spiritual man must believe in order to know. The faith that saves is not a conclusion drawn from evidence; it is a moral thing, a thing of the spirit, a supernatural infusion of confidence in Jesus Christ, a very gift of God.
    The faith that saves reposes in the Person of Christ; it leads at once to a committal of the total being to Christ, an act impossible to the natural man. To believe rightly is as much a miracle as was the coming forth of dead Lazarus at the command of Christ.

    The Bible is a supernatural book and can be understood only by supernatural aid.
    Rumely likes this.
  2. I am very comfortable worshiping a God I can't understand. I wouldn't want it any other way.
  3. That wasn't my intention with the post. My apologies if it came off that way.
  4. So what is your intention, if you think Josh's remark is a misunderstanding??
  5. I'm sorry Rusty, but I'm not going to respond to this in detail. I feel if Josh wanted to know, he would ask and he very well may. There was no "intention" with my post. However, after seeing some heated discussions on here the past month, I should have probably thought twice before posting an article that some might read too into. Honestly, I try to avoid those arguments as much as possible so if I need to step back and no longer reply to this thread in order to not go down the path I've seen others go down, then I will do so.
    Major and calvin say Amen and like this.
  6. I don't see how Josh's response or mine would create any hassles...Just don't understand what you saw in the Tozer article...I saw tons of ideas, one of which was Josh's conclusion....

    In other words...You haven't given your opinion.....Care to?
  7. I may have not highlight it above the article enough, I wrote that I agree with it and wanted to know others opinions. Only thing is, I didn't take the way Josh's responce (the way I interpreted it) took it. Does that make sense? I feel weird talking about Josh's responce when he isn't here to respond and hasn't.:confused:
  8. He's be here on his schedule. And nothing wrong about discussing his post...It's wrong when folks attack someone (not that you do that!) and dissect their "inner motives"..

    So what do you like about Tozer's fine article?
  9. I think the main thing is that I've known many unbelievers who have read the bible in its entirety and never got saved. It never made sense to me, but this article kind of brought it together and explained a possible reason as to why. Do you agree?
  10. Oh, me too... Tozer makes the point:

    Some don't understand that the Bible is like fertilizer, it's for the growth from the Seed implanted within.

    No amount of eating fertilizer can create the Seed...He must be allowed to put It in us.
  11. Matthew 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

    People don't want to hear the truth-it really is that simple. When I say 'hear'; I mean selective hearing also applies to 'selective reading'.

    "Yes dear that does make you look fat." We just don't like it when someone comes along and tells us we are wrong-so we become ignorant; or as the Bible puts it 'willfully ignorant.' So we turn our brains off to the things we don't like.

    'Christians' do this ALL the time (myself included-not picking on anyone.) We don't want to hear:

    *'Those 'clothes' are immodest'
    *'That 'music' is worldly.'
    *'That 'habit' is worldly.'
    *'That 'hobby' is worldly.'
    *'That 'behavior' is an abomination.'
    *'That 'relationship' is un-Godly.'
    *'That 'doctrine' is not scriptural.'
    *'That 'Church' is not Christian.'
    *'That 'organization' is evil.'

    We don't want to 'hear' it. It really is that simple. We don't want to have to change our beliefs-because that would mean we have been WRONG all this time. That's what repentance of our hearts is all about -admitting 'man's ways' are WRONG! And turning to God's ways. Most people DON'T WANT to be reached; and this is the grief that Pastor's deal with every day. People want their egos soothed and want approval for their un-Godly lifestyles.

    So we 'tolerate' and 'compromise' God's Word. Next thing you know we have a 'NEW' Bible translation in the pew that is more 'sensitive' to the culture. Then the hymn books change, then the dress code changes, then the church policy changes, then the Pastor changes, then the 'platform' changes. Next thing you know we have a 'Praise and Worship Team' doing "free concerts" in Church on Sunday mornings and the Gospel takes a back seat.

    It IS happening EVERYWHERE.....prove me wrong?

    God's Word doesn't change-but somehow 'man' figures he can change it and it's okay as long as it attracts people through the doors of the Church. Most of our 'churches' are no better than the Temple before Christ ran the money changers out of it.

    Sorry for the rant....

    But we 'make light of God's Word' because we simply don't want to be accountable-but the day of accounting is coming quick. God is not a 'casual' relationship or experience....
    Veronica W. and Rusty say Amen and like this.
  12. Personally, I think the article is very well written and accurate. The heathen cannot understand the Bible
    any more than the blind can appreciate paintings.
    Lifeasweknowit and Major say Amen and like this.
  13. And that is the truth !!!

    1st Corth. 2:14
    “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto
    him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
    Lifeasweknowit and Mr. Darby say Amen and like this.
  14. It didn't my dear!

    You will never go wrong posting anything or reading something from A.W. Toozer.

    He was one of the best Christian men you could ever hope to meet and his theology was "right on"!!!
    Lifeasweknowit likes this.
  16. That only applies to those born blind...My wife was a former painter and has owners of her work around the world. Now that she is blind, she has total recall of her works and those of her favorite artist.

    Part of our mission is working with the blind. There is a real differences between these two types

    The Fall has made all men be born "blind" and, that I agree with

    It's a good article.
  17. There is a warning: Some of the Word must pluck the heart-strings of the unsaved or we could not use it to reach out to them. However, like fertilizer (see my point above) it cannot alone bring them life.

    That's what I see Jesus saying here to the Torah obsessed Jews:

    Even today the Jews study the older half of the Word constantly .....but reject the Lifegiver of the Word.

  18. Oh.. I see...His theology was diametrically opposed to dipensationalism, did you know...? I'll be glad to post his writings somewhere that shows how he dismantles it utterly using the Word...

    But that's another thread....just thought your remark.....stunning.
  19. Mankind has no excuse; Paul said it best:

    Romans 1:
    15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
    16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
    17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
    20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

    We chose to be blind:

    John 9:
    39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
    40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
    41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

    Jesus Christ is the removing of the veil; the planting of the seed. If someone has not 'heard' the Gospel-that's the Church's fault-not Christ's.....

    If a person refuses to accept the Gospel-well then it is on their head after that point; whether they have heard it once or 1,000 times. Now if they are fed false doctrine; again, it is on the Church-not Christ. If it is a matter of confusion: it is my belief Christ will intervene and 'clarify' the heart condition-perhaps in time.
  20. The Pharisees had the Word, therefore they CHOSE to be blind in the face of Christ's presence. By rejecting Him, they become utterly blind, and anyone who thinks they were saved, may want to reconsider His words.

    Let's not confuse Jewish/Christian perverters and religious bigotry with those who have no clue or access or desire for the Word or the Lord.

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