This past Sunday evening we watched a sermon from Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis. One of his central arguments for the need to defend the Bible “from the very first verse” is because we are living in a society that no longer has the Bible as a familiar frame of reference. The number of children today that don’t know who Cain was, what Jesus did, and even who wrote the Ten Commandments are increasing.
But it’s not just the Creationists that are seeing this as a problem. Some secularists and historians view this as a problem, but not for the same reason.
Supporters say fully understanding history, literature and political science — from the writings of Martin Luther King Jr. to the war in Iraq — requires knowledge of the Bible.
“I don’t think you can understand Shakespeare, that you can understand a great deal of literary allusions or that you can understand a great deal of Western civilization without understanding the role of the Bible,” said Pennock, a former Western civilization teacher.
The reason why schools are so hesitant goes back to the fallacious Separation of Church and State. Schools are afraid of the lawsuits that will be brought, even though the Supreme Court and the local legislature have given the green light to teaching the Bible as literature.
The question is, should Christians support this?
On the one hand, anything that presents the Bible to people should be something we desire. The Bible can stand on its own, it does not return void, and the more people know about the basic stories the less we have to do in witnessing to get people to understand the concept of a Creator God. In essence, if people are instructed on what the Bible says about sin, death, and history, even though they may not believe it, you have a common starting point.
Conversely, If the Bible is presented by someone that does not agree with its teachings, the entire time could be taken up with exploring alleged contradictions. I’ve seen this at work in a recent issue of Newsweek where the front page advertised a discussion between Rick Warren and Sam Harris. What was sad was the fact that there was this huge introduction that basically cast the belief of God as an improvable belief, and evolutionism as fact.
But it went further than that. The article before was about the Geico caveman. It referenced Evolution as truth. The one a little further about Will Smith being the most popular actor started with a reference to Stephen Gould’s explanation of evolutionary change over time. The whole issue reflected evolution as truth from cover to cover, but paid lip service in one part of the article (the discussion itself) to being balanced. It placed more criticism on the Christian.
The point is, I’m not sure if teaching the Bible in schools is a good thing if it’s not in a spiritual context. God can use it, but it also means that people could use the opportunity to bash it.