Why Biblical Literacy Matters || C.S. Hamilton


            I could start with a biblical argument as to why biblical literacy is quite important to faithful Christian witness, but let’s be real – if biblical literacy is of dwindling value to someone then it is wholly plausible that they may hold reservations on biblical inerrancy, sufficiency, and authority. Considering this, I would like to start with a more philosophical claim to the existence and usefulness of scripture. I realize some of the stipulations I am about to make are pseudo-biblical, but I think they have logical/philosophical warrant in themselves. Lets us begin:

           Let’s start with creation. My main contention is that if we define God as a being that created everything but himself, then he out of necessity must be perfect, omniscient, and immutable – and these qualities suggest both a greater purpose to life and a means of communicating that purpose.

           If we presume that there is a God who is the creator of all things but himself, then he must be perfect. I will hope to show this through contradiction. Now, you could say, “there is no way to be sure that he is perfect,” but if God truly created ALL things, then he must have also created the notion of perfection. One could suggest that perhaps God created the notion of perfection to be what he is not, so that he is not perfect. However, we can be sure that at one point God was perfect, because perfection, by definition, is lacking flaws. If the mere notion of flaws did not exist before God created, then God, by definition, was perfect beforehand. So, if God was perfect and then, through creation, introduced to himself flaws, he would be bypassing his own perfection. This doesn’t work – mainly because his perfection necessitates immutability. If something is perfect, then it can’t get any better. If God was perfect, then he must remain perfect, because he does not have the ability to make mistakes. Or rather, mistakes don’t have the ability to be found in him. So, because God must be perfect before creation, he must remain perfect after creation; Because he is already sufficient, he will be sufficient forever, and as such is immutable.

           Another note on what was previously discussed: One could suggest that God’s attributes are not defined by his creation, and as such his perfection already existed. I would nominally disagree, only because I believe that the notion of perfection is what God ascribed his characteristics to, so in a sense the characteristics of God that we ascribe to perfection did exist beforehand. Anyways…

            Additionally, God’s creation entails dominion. If God is truly the capital ‘G’ God described above, then he has authority over all he has made, just as a potter has authority over clay. When authority and immutability come together, we have preordinance – the idea that God has divinely designed the world to proceed in his specified way. If the Lord has preordained this word, then it should follow that there is some plan behind everything – and if there is indeed a purpose behind creation, then an omnipotent God would have all ability to communicate such a purpose. The only thing remaining is his desire. This is where the Bible comes in.

            I repeat again: the only thing remaining is desire – and boy does the Bible display a lot of that. The Bible portrays a consistent, holistic, and sufficient picture of God-driven redemption that is both historically supported and logically warranted. No other religious manuscript removes the burden of salvation from human hands, and places the action solely on God. Christianity, unlike all other religions, offers Grace with complete impartiality. The Bible contains a radically romantic story of a God PURSUING his creation, restoring what was broken, and redeeming those who deserve death, not because they’ve earned it or done enough good, but because he LOVES them and wants to make that known.
            So, if the Bible truly does present a God who desires his creation, then it is not only compatible with our aforementioned reasoning, but is also the BEST THING in existence to take as authoritative. And so, if we do take the Bible as the inspired word of God, then we should scour it as if our life depended on it – because it does. The Bible is the word of the Lord with directives on how to attain salvation and how to live that out. And if God is the capital ‘G’ God spoken of before, then he deserves all the time, energy, and attention we can give him.
            But you know what the best thing about this all is?  – That knowing God and living his word is really all we can do to be truly satisfied. Really puts a new perspective to “whoever loses their life will find it.”


Now let me just drop some little scripture nuggets in here, and let the word of the Lord speak for itself:
Let’s feast together.

“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” -John 17:17

“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 complete, equipped for every good work.” -2 Timothy 3:16-17

 “And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” -2 Peter 1:19-21

“And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” -1 Thessalonians 2:13

“The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.” -Psalms 12:6

“Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.” -Psalms 119:89

“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.” -Proverbs 30:5-6


Okay Imma be real this musing diverged quite a bit from my intended direction but I’m just gunna hope that was the Holy Spirit and say the Lord leads in mysterious ways.

Thanks for reading!