Beneath The Surface, An Editorial Comment: A Question For The Ages -- By: Richard Lanser

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 24:3 (Summer 2011)
Article: Beneath The Surface, An Editorial Comment: A Question For The Ages
Author: Richard Lanser


Beneath The Surface, An Editorial Comment: A Question For The Ages

Richard Lanser

A key question in the ongoing battle over the role of the Bible in the lives of individuals and societies has always been, “What is the basis for regarding the Bible as THE authoritative guide to life?” Although this question is not a new one—Pilate voiced it in a slightly different form in his famous query to Jesus, “What is truth?”—it seems that, when compared to the not-so-distant past, in our day it has taken on a new prominence. It is some aspects of this question that we turn our attention to in this issue of Bible and Spade.

That the Bible’s role as an authority in the lives of men and women is questioned should not surprise us. We live in a time when it is fashionable, even politically correct, to question authority in all its guises. Our federal government and the courts routinely search out ever more creative ways to circumvent both common sense and the US Constitution. Lawmakers are beholden more to those with deep pockets than they are to those who voted them into office, considering dollars a higher authority than the will of those governed. The rule of law has degenerated in the courtrooms of the land from a pursuit of self-evident truth and justice, to lawyers in search of loopholes and semantic tricks to do an end run around common sense. Justice is no longer blind, but peers under its blindfold; judges render decisions based not on the merits of their cases, but on expediency born out of their being appointed to office by likeminded politicians.

School children routinely disobey their teachers, and teachers, especially in the inner cities, feel powerless because to exercise authority over an intransigent child would be damaging to the child’s self-esteem at best, and at worst, particularly with an older child, result in the teacher being placed in physical danger. In the business world, the equivalent of mob rule by unions results in many managers tolerating behavior that in years past would have resulted in an employee being quickly fired, while on the flip side, greedy managers place their own enrichment over the welfare of those who work for them. Rules are regarded as mere suggestions, to be broken with impunity when they become inconvenient to an individual. Police officers in an increasingly lawless society daily face the threat of injury or death. In the entertainment realm, film makers and television programs continually push against historic moral standards, and self-policing is a laugh, an excuse for moving the boundaries toward ever-increasing licentiousness. Gratuitous sex is the order of the day. Profanity is considered a drawing card to increase viewership. Programs geared to questioning the veracity of the Scriptures rear their heads every year at Christmas and Easter. The list goes on and on.

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