The state university in my town held a panel discussion on same-sex marriage and people from all walks of life showed up. Katie, a sophomore majoring in social work, introduced herself to me at the event’s conclusion and we began discussing the diversity of viewpoints among the panelists. Thirty seconds into our conversation it became clear to me that although she was aware of the Bible and some of its Truth claims, by no means did she believe it was authoritative.
The Bible’s moral relevance to same-sex marriage was, in her view, merely relative to my chosen community. For Katie, the Bible was just a historic religious literary artifact, a product of insufficiently evolved humans who needed to create a deity in order to feel safe and have some semblance of a meaningful existence. (You probably know this view of Scripture all too well.) In the end she dismissed the Bible’s relevance to the topic.
As a college administrator and professor primarily to Millennials, I know first hand that this generation has imbibed deeply of postmodern thinking. In my experience, the degree to which these young adults are open and teachable to the possibility that a grand metanarrative (such as the Bible) exists mirrors their ability to see how they are designed to only flourish within the borders of that metanarrative.
Consider this concise statement about what the Bible is and what it does for human beings:
The Bible is God's written revelation to people, divinely given through human authors who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is entirely true. The Bible is totally sufficient and completely authoritative for matters of life and faith. The goal of God’s Word is the restoration of humanity into His image.
These truths are essential for building an enduring biblical worldview foundation. As God’s written revelation, it imparts eternal Truth to our minds through direct and divine influence. It is inspired, meaning that the Holy Spirit directed the writing process. Though the biblical authors had stylistic freedom to express themselves, they could not stray outside the boundaries of Truth. The books they penned are error free, and it is God’s Word—not the mere words of Moses, David, Paul or John. The Bible is functionally authoritative for all matters of faith and living. God’s Word also has a redemptive, or restorative, effect on us personally (Psalm 19:7-9).
Actually taking this Truth into the depths of our souls and then relying on the Holy Spirit to help us live it out restores our character, our knowledge and our actions, because it is this Truth—God’s Word—that changes us from the inside out and makes us more like Him (John 17:17). The Bible lays the foundation for building a biblical worldview, which in turn permits us to see reality clearly. This realization has huge ramifications for people like Katie. Without this firm biblical worldview foundation, it becomes far too easy to be swayed by worldly wisdom and passions.
John Basie is director of IMPACT 360, a nine-month academic residential gap-year program for college-bound high school graduates that focuses on biblical worldview, leadership training and vocational understanding.