The Plus that Helps the Inadequate Bible

Is the Bible Enough? In his article, Pastor Geoffrey Thomas, of Aberystwyth, Wales, does a good job of comparing the position of faith in God’s Word to that of those who believe they have “found the plus that helps the inadequate Bible.” His main idea comes from Jesus’ account of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31. After pleading for relief from his suffering, the rich man asks for Abraham to send Lazarus back from the dead to warn his brothers. But Abraham tells the rich man that the Scriptures his brothers already have are sufficient to warn them. The rich man disagrees with Abraham. But Abraham refuses to budge.

What do you think? Are the words of Scripture sufficient to win the lost to faith and repentance or are other things necessary to win them over first?

That is what many people say still. “You can’t expect the world to be attracted by the Bible, by preaching Scriptures, by texts outside chapels, and verses on billboards, and tracts with Scriptures on them, and memorizing the Bible, and lessons from the Bible to children in Sunday School, and camps where young people are taught the Bible, and conferences where the Bible is proclaimed. You can’t expect people to be attracted by that! We need concerts! We need drama! We need constumes! We need bands! We need choreography! Bring in the drums and the synthesizers. We need superstars and celebreties to give us their testimonies—not just the Bible alone!” But, you see, Abraham was unyielding. “The Bible is sufficient,” he said.

The apostle Paul agrees with Abraham. In his letter to the Romans, Paul makes a concise statement about these things: “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17 NKJV). Do we really help the Scriptures by adding so many other things to it? Or are we actually detracting from its power by using these other means? I think that Christianity as a whole has turned away from the power of God’s Word. Many are trusting methods to reach people instead of the Bible. I encourage you to return his trust to the sufficiency of the Scriptures for it still is “able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” and “is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:15-17 NKJV).

Many Christians think they have to use means to reach people. This is wrong. If someone told me that an evolutionist could not be reached by the Bible alone, I would strongly disagree. The Bible is able to do whatever God intends it to do (Isa. 55:11; Heb. 4:12). But what about using a Creationist article to convince an evolutionist of his error? Would that be okay? In my opinion, an article can be helpful—just as any evangelistic conversation involves more than just Bible verses. However, it would be wrong to think that the article would convince him of his need apart from the Scriptures.

What a person relies on for evangelism often reveals his opinion of the Bible.
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28 thoughts on “The Plus that Helps the Inadequate Bible

  1. Ginny

    I believe the Bible is sufficiant. However, you might need to establish a relationship with the person over common ground before you discuss salvation.

  2. Frank S.

    I believe that the Bible is powerful enough to save someone. I also think that using other means to help get the Bible across to the lost is helpful. Of course, you do not want to go to the extreme of getting involved in sin to become like the unsaved. I think God has provided ways to help us witness. Ultimately, God through the Bible and the Holy Spirit is what will lead someone to Christ.

  3. Randall

    If you believe that the Bible is sufficient as we read in God’s Word, then you won’t have a problem with just using God’s Word to witness to people. Yet sometimes people are stubborn and refuse to believe the Bible, in those cases even strong logic won’t turn a person from their hard-hearted unbelief. So we need to continue to use scripture until God opens their eyes to his truth.

  4. nathanael

    I agree that people are looking more and more to other things instead of the Bible. I think that we need to recognize more the sufficiency of the Scriptures. I also agree that it is wrong to depend totally on anther source to try to bring someone to Christ. However, I do think that it is okay to use some kind of example that supports the Bible just as long as that is not all you use.

  5. Mark

    I agree somewhat with Thomas. While the Bible is completely sufficient to bring anyone to Christ, it isn’t necessarily wrong to add things, such as showing an article to someone or starting a conversation with someone and eventually turning the conversation to the gospel and witnessing to them. However, once you start bringing in rock groups, celebrities, dance teams, etc. they are more likely to detract from the message of the gospel, and possibly lead them away from God. Eph. 5:8 says “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.” We shouldn’t try to be just like the world to try bring them to Christ. Instead, we should be different, so that the world can see that difference.

  6. jordan

    I also believe that the Bible is incredibly powerful and should not be taken lightly. Neither should we say that the Bible is not enough to save someone. However, we also must understand that God works in many ways and it is not beyond Him to draw someone to Himself by using extra-Biblical material. For some, the Bible accompanied by other Christian resources is just as powerful (or even more so) than using the Bible alone.

  7. Dana

    The bible is very much sufficant for salvation. because we know that need to be convicted of our sin and be pricked by the holy spirit but when witnessing to someone who does not even belive that the bible is true if you prove facts in the bible are true by external means (i.e the flood jesus was a real man..ect..) if they see that facts in bible can be proved then posssibly they would realize the bible is true and they would believe other things in the Bible such as salvation and a literal 6 days creation.

  8. Anna

    I believe that the Bible is sufficiant. That is the only way someone can come to Christ. I do think that you can use other means to help win people over, just so that you can establish a relationship with the unbeliever. The Bible is our guide and we should use it to witness to others.

  9. Ashley H

    I beieve that the Bible is sufficient to save someone. However, if someone doesn’t even believe that the Bible is true, why would they believe what the Bible says? Therefore, sometimes you need to use extra-Biblical proof (i.e. Flood evidence, existence of Biblical characters) to help people come to the understanding (on a psycological level) that the Bible is true.

  10. keith

    i believe that the bible is sufficient,and that nothing else is needed in order to put your full faith and trust in Christ. I also agree that sometimes just using the Bible while witnessing might not have that much of an affect on someone, especially if they have never heard it before. You Definately need to have some kind of a foundational relationship.

  11. bethany

    I believe that the Bible is sufficiant to save and to witness.
    God has given us everything we need to witness for Him and reach the unsaved. We do not need to become more like the sinful world to attract them, we should make it clear to them that we have something that they dont. I do not agree with pastors that dumb-down the scriptures or messages to attract people.

  12. DKN

    As a believer I cannot refute the word of God. Romans 10:17 states, “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” There can be nothing more sufficient than the Bible, but you can use other means to help people understand it. You cannot use other means alone though. You must first present the gospel. As christians we must rely whole heartedly on God’s word and the Holy Spirit to bring someone to saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I don’t rely on logic becuase logic has nothing to do with the Gospel. I think this discussion has evolved from a means to give the Gospel to a “chritian/evolutionist” debate on historical events. If we look at the original question at hand, giving the gospel, we will see that the Bible is completely sufficient.

  13. terry

    i belive that you need to establish acommon ground befor you can just start wittnessing to some one ok

  14. shannon

    I agree with Pastor Rupert. I believe the Bible is sufficiant in itself. To win the lost to Christ, God gave us His Word and I believe that is all we need. However, I think that if it helps people to better understand Christ and help their personal walk with Him, I see nothing against using other materials to back up the Bible, as long as it totally agrees with The Word

  15. Ashley S.

    I believe that the Bible is sufficinet for salvation. In Psalm 119, David expresses his love for the Scriptures. He was a godly man who is heaven with God right now. When he was alive, the only books of the Bible that they had was the Pentateuch. If David can be saved with only having the first five books, how much more should we faith in God. We have the entire Bible and many more verses that point to God and salvation. Therefore, I believe that our faith in God should be stronger than the Old Testament patriarchs.

  16. Joy

    God uses his word to convinct people and bring them to salvation. However,christians do need to remember that preaching at a person or arguing over facts is only going to make the person angry. Sometimes, we have to stop arguing and show them the truth of God’s word by our example.

  17. Alyssa

    I believe that the Bible is sufficiant for everything. But when witnessing, we need to adapt to the situation before us. By using articles, evidence, and books can help someone understand what the Bible says better. I don’t think you should use those alone, but I think they are fine to use alongside the Bible as a means of help. I don’t think that using worldly things (concerts, bands, choreography) is a suffucient means to helping someone understand the Bible. The Bible strictly says to not be conformed to this world (Romans 12:1,2). Even though this is a popular idea by many Christians, it goes against the Bible.

  18. Hanna

    Romans 10:17 says, “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” I believe that we are detracting fom the power of the word of God when we “water it down.” God has given us His word to help us grow more like Him. When we are saved, God opens our eyes to His word.The Bible is powerful enough to show us how to be saved and it is powerful enough to show us how to grow more spiritually.

  19. Stephanie

    The Bible is definately sufficient to lead someone to Christ. I see no problem using other methods to lead someone to Christ if they point the person to the word of God. Using other methods is helpful when trying to reach the unsaved who don’t want to go near the Bible.

  20. dkn

    Keith, what do you mean by “affect on someone” in you comment? If you’re speaking in an emmotional level, then, yes the Bible is very emotional, and if someone really reads it for what it’s worth they can be extremely moved by its contents.

  21. katrina w.

    I agree that the Bible is sufficient enough. People may argue that others are not just interested in the Bible and that they need other things to draw them in. That sounds true and it makes sense. There are people who don’t like to listen to the Bible, but like to listen to christian bands or other things. But, that is not what really saves a person.
    I’ve grown up in a christian home all my life, but I wasn’t saved until I was about fourteen years old. I listened to christian music, went to a couple christian concerts, but that didn’t save me. The Bible is what drawed me into the love of Christ and it took the scriptures to make me realize my need for a savior. So, I agree with Abraham when he said that the scriptures were sufficient enough. The bands and other “bling bling” isn’t what draws people in. It’s the Word.

  22. Eric Hegreness

    I believe the Bible is enough, and that only God/Holy Spirit can bring someone to the Lord. I also dont see anything wrong with using logic and other means to show people Gods word. When Paul preached at Mars hill he didn’t immediately start using scripture, but he used something that was familiar to the people there, by talking to them about the idol they had to the unknown God.

  23. keith

    D.K.N your reading way to deep into what i said, its not that hard to understand, all i was saying is that reading the Bible to someone who has never heard it before would not be very exciting, and the first time witnessing to them you should try to use something else like your own testimony or an experience and then use the Bible to back it up. if you still dont understand then u know my number. bring it!

  24. Mike L

    The Bible is a powerful tool the Lord has provided us with. I would be sorely remiss if I did not use Scripture when leading an unsaved person to Christ. However, I would also be irresponsible if I did not utilize every other tool he has given, including music and drama, to bring others to him. No matter what methods are used, it is the Holy Spirit who must move to bring someone to Jesus Christ.

  25. Andy Rupert

    Many of the comments so far deal with whether you can use extra-biblical means to “win” someone to Christ. Perhaps a better direction for the conversation would be this: What are you relying on to lead a person to Christ?

    In any conversation you may choose to explain the Scriptures with examples from your life or with your salvation testimony. While those things are helpful and the Holy Spirit often uses our lives and words in the process, Romans 10:17 is still true. Can faith come apart from the Word of God? No, it cannot. With that in mind, what are you relying on to lead the lost to Christ?

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