Apologetics: ə-pŏl'ə-jĕt'ĭks from the Greek απоλоγία Def: The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines.

Why? . . . Because IT Changes Lives!

Written By Esthermay Bentley-Goossen on 10 August 2010

he Gospel alone is sufficient to rule the lives of Christians everywhere. . . any additional rules made to govern men's conduct added nothing to the perfection already found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
~ John Wycliffe

The doctrine of Sufficiency of Scripture is hardly a 21st Century revelation to Bible-believing Christians. But remarkably, even for his day, John Wycliffe -- in 12th Century England -- regarded the Bible as a living and authoritative Book. This indeed set him apart as not only a scholar, but a Bible-believing Christian. Like many Christian conservatives of 2010, Wycliffe observed and commented on the many discrepancies between the standards set by Scripture and the practices of the church and governing bodies.

Despite the escalating tensions between King Edward III and the Roman Catholic Church which gave rise to much of Wycliffe's work, the quote could well have been written or voiced only yesterday for all its timely wisdom and significant application to our own generation's socio-political atmosphere and doctrinal disputes. His words reflect timeless Truth.
Why. . . ?

It is an understatement to say that most evangelical churches in America function outside of the teachings for the New Testament Church. It's also a given that many denominations put far more faith in a man-made doctrine than the Inerrant Word of God. But it is a blaring and obvious fact that our United States' government employs little if anything that identifies with the Gospel of Jesus Christ by way of its "additional rules made to govern [our] conduct."

A strong movement exists today to divorce America not only from its Christian beginnings, but from the sufficiency of the Gospel of Redemption through Jesus Christ.
Why. . . ?

This progressive trend is becoming less about the debate between two opposing sides and more and more about defining and establishing the boundary between what is true and what is false. You either believe America is a Christian nation which was founded upon the sufficiency of Scripture; or you don't. It's black and white.

In the early public schools of America, the BIBLE was one of the main textbooks -- if not the only textbook. Apparently, it was SUFFICIENT. But on June 17, 1963, in Abington vs. Schempp, the United States Supreme Court removed the BIBLE and its readings from public education.
Why. . . ?

Data from the Center for Disease Control and Department of Health and Human Resources and Human Services and Statistical/Abstracts of United States PROVE that rape, murder, alcohol abuse, robbery, suicide, gang warfare, assault, absenteeism, pregnancies, burglary, vandalism, abortions, arson, extortion, venereal disease, bombings, and drug abuse have SKYROCKETED since 1963.

Apparently . . . the "additional rules made to govern [our] conduct" were not sufficient.

Not surprisingly, all of society including media, entertainment, criminal behavior, family trends, etc. (even the behaviors of those claiming to the "Christians") have followed the trend.

There is no moral compass provided by the government or any other ruling body that is more sufficient that GOD's Word. So, with the one and only moral compass provided to us as human beings removed by the "government," is it any wonder we are in the state we find ourselves? As Wycliffe said, ". . .any additional rules made to govern men's conduct added nothing to the perfection already found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
Why. . . ?

The willful rejection of the Bible as our source of divine authority is a direct cause of the current state of immorality in our country. In the years that followed that devastating Supreme Court ruling -- and continuing to this day -- the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ continues to be persecuted, eliminated, and otherwise rejected by both our government and society as a whole.
Why. . . ?

Progressives, Socialists, and atheists don't want Americans to know the truth about our nation's Biblically based Christian heritage. They are strenuously trying to rewrite history to match their propaganda and support their agenda. They are even more adamant about denying the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are attacking God's Word, its sufficiency, and its plan of Redemption from every angle including education, the political arena and the legal system in an effort to change, reinvent and transform history to conform to their radical beliefs. In doing so they will eventually destroy the very foundation of America.
Why. . . ?

WHY? . . .What is it about the sufficiency of Scripture that has so many people set on a course to destroy that "perfection already found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

The doctrine of Sufficiency of Scripture is based primarily on II Timothy 3:15-17 and Jude 1:3.

The sacred writings . . . are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work . . . Contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

In other words the Bible is sufficient in that it is the only ("once for all") inspired and therefore inerrant words of God that we need, in order to know the way of salvation and the way of obedience ("equipped for every good work").

The sufficiency of Scripture does not mean that the Bible is all we need to live obediently and function in society. For example, in order to be obedient and lawfully drive a car, we need to obey traffic rules and observe state regulations for licensing. In order to be obedient and work in the realm of science, we need to read science and study God's creation. In order to be obedient and function in the realm of economics we need to read and observe the world of business. To be obedient and perform in the realm of sports, we need to know the rules of the game. To be obedient in marriage, we need to know and understand our spouse's personality. To be obedient and perform as a pilot, we need to know how to fly an airplane; etc, etc. etc. In other words, the Bible does not tell us all we need to know in order to be obedient stewards of this world.
It does tell us that Jesus is the way and the truth and the life and that no one comes to the Father except through CHRIST. (John 14:6)

The sufficiency of Scripture means that we need NO further explanation or revelation from God or anyone in order to be competent and equipped for every good work. We do not need a "Fundamental Transformation" of a nation already established in Christian principles. We do not need to redefine marriage. We do not need to redefine the family. We do not need to redistribute wealth. We need NO further enlightenment. We need NO more inspired, inerrant words. From anyone!!!

God's Word is sufficient not only for the lives of Christians, but for all people. Through His Word, God has given us His plan of redemption along with the the absolute perfect standard for judging all other knowledge and all other philosophies. Even when that knowledge helps support the Bible.

For example:
(John Piper explains this beautifully.) The word "ant" occurs twice in the Bible. Once in Proverbs 6:6 and again in Proverbs 30:25. Yet, the word "ant" is never defined in the Bible. The Bible expects us to know what an ant is from another body of knowledge (language) along with our life experience. But even if we misinterpret the verses to mean that ants actually teach us that laziness is profitable, Scripture again is the standard for testing our interpretation. Numerous other passages in the Bible will prevent us from misinterpreting the meaning of the verses containing the word "ant" regardless of our ability or inability to know the word's definition. The Bible is all-sufficient for judging and proving or disproving Itself and all other bodies of knowledge.

"The Gospel alone is sufficient to rule the lives of Christians everywhere. . . any additional rules made to govern men's conduct added nothing to the perfection already found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
~ John Wycliffe

Christianity is entrenched in American culture. The sufficiency of Scripture permeates our heritage. From the founding documents consistent mentioning of "Creator," to "In God We Trust" on our coinage, to politicians almost universally ending speeches with "God bless American," Christianity is such a part of America that the effort to remove it may likely result in the collapse of our nation.

So what is it about this Perfect Gospel of Jesus Christ that makes all other rules to govern futile and utterly useless? Why are so many progressives and socialists and atheists so intent on destroying it?

Here's why: John Wycliffe, like many scholars across the time-line of history knew this:

GOD's Word Changes Lives!
"The reason that Christianity is the best friend of Government is because
Christianity is the only religion that changes the heart."
~ President Thomas Jefferson

Is it possible -- just maybe -- that there is a force behind this movement that seeks to destroy our Christian heritage? A force that does not want to see changed lives. . . ?

~ Esthermay V. Bentley-Goossen
© 2010 The Heart of a Pastor’s Wife



Brad said...

Wycliffe and Huss paved the way for the Reformation and really for many of the personal freedoms we enjoy today. But sadly our age is an age where either moralism or unrestrained licentiousness is the master of most. May we devour the Word and humbly love each other...and preach the Word with sincere kindness to others.

Good thoughts.

mamas*little*treasures said...

Hi Esthermay - thanks for sharing this quote. Whether we look at it from your broader perspective (which I agree with 100%) or from more personal observations, the result is still the same. There is only one way for us to be redeemed, individually and corporately, and that is through the grace of God and the blood of our Lord Jesus. Have a blessed day! Hugs, Nina

Chocolate and Coffee said...

Great post Esthermay! You are such a gifted writer.

Blessings friend!

Karen said...

Awesome. That was really good. The Bible does change our lives if we would only allow it.

Kate said...

YES! This is so good. You really need to blog more. I miss you.
A friend gave me a CD of a sermon recently with a quote similar to Wycliffe's and my mind just went straight to all the "rules" and regulatiions of our O'Government and you put it all into words for me here.
Just.... "AMEN!" Agreeing 100% that there is a force behind it all.

Nic said...

WOW! I am speechless! This is such a great post and I can't think of anything to add to what you said, but I'll try. :-) Love you, my friend! Thanks for writing the TRUTH!

Barbara said...

Excellent! I love your conclusion. YES! There is a force. He roams around seeking whom he may devour. Without solid grounding, more and more people are being devoured.

I so miss your writing. PLEASE, please blog more often. You are a gifted writer.

Rachel M. said...

Wonderful post, as always, Esthermay! so good to have you back.

I am convinced that a nation without God is going to crumble, no matter how cleverly assembled and planned it is. "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain " (Psalm 127: 1 NIV). I pray for this nation that it will return to God. May He reign on the throne of our hearts as well as the throne of our laws and our books!

Loni said...

Thank you so much for hosting and sharing today. Thank you for so clearly sharing the power of God's Word!

Twinkle Mom @ Sunflower Faith said...

Wow! Amazing post and it really just captures how perfect and sufficient His word is without anything else. In today's world....there is seem to almost be a thought that more is more but truly and absolutely, less is more. In this case...there is nothing that we imperfect human beings can add to or about a perfect Father.

Breathtaking post!

LisaShaw said...

Hi there!

I don't think I need to say one word other than AMEN!!!!!

Your words here are on point: "A strong movement exists today to divorce America not only from its Christian beginnings, but from the sufficiency of the Gospel of Redemption through Jesus Christ."

The Gospel of Jesus Christ does indeed CHANGE lives and it is that Gospel message that is the only real change that we need and must have.

Your words in this post echo much of what I feel; if not all, as one who doesn't just carry the name Christian but is indeed a follower of and believer in the LORD JESUS Christ and who believes that this nation (American) was founded on Christian principles!

What we are seeing and I knew it was to come if we read our Bibles we'd know it; is that people are turning away from sound doctrine which is why people vote gender and color and not biblical principles.

As I watched the news earlier and heard about teens botoxing, skinny jeans for babies and women announcing there is no need for a man to have a baby -- It just confirms more and more the decay in this world because people are removing GOD from everything! We can't talk about GOD in the schools, pray or declare our prolife stance, stand for the sanctity of marriage without being called haters YET our message is one that is sound, loving and full of TRUTH because the message is not our personal one it is the LORD'S!

I think I said, I only had one word to say, Amen so let me stop here Esthermay (smile).

Bless you!

Tracy Cavelli Trussell said...

Esthermay- just wanted to say "thank you". This blog touches hearts and changes perspectives. The Word is truly a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. His Word will never return void ... but it will complete His perfect Will in not only our Nation ... but the entire world. Great blog! Loved it and thanks for writing! :0)

Toyin O. said...

Awesome word. the bible is the truth that sets us free.


RBrown said...

I have been a Pastors Wife for 22 years. For all those years, I have been personally unhappy because of the abuse and the lies and personal attacks from some of the members. My photos have been torn down from walls too, I have been kicked our of my parking space, and out of my normal seat. But because of Jesus's love, I am happy spiritually. So I know what its all about. It's not about me. IT'S ABOUT THE DEVIL'S ATTACK ON GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE. The devel goes to church too. I am truly inspired by your blog post entitled "IT'S NOT ABOUT ME". Good luck in your ministry.

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