About The Bible Answer Site
This section offers some basic words of explanation about the Bible Answer Site. We will explain who we are, what our website consists of, and how to effectively make use of the material.
Our Perspective On The Bible And God
To begin with, it is necessary to briefly explain our particular perspectives on the Bible and on the Person of God. We come from an evangelical Protestant point of view. We believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God - the Scripture is true on whatever subject it speaks. It alone is the final authority on all matters of faith and practice. In addition, the God of the Bible is the only God who exists. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. The God of the Bible is a Trinity; that is, He exists in three distinct Persons; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. It is possible to have a personal relationship with God but this can only occur through His Son, Jesus Christ. The Christian faith is all about this Person; Jesus Christ.
The Scope Of Our Website
There are twenty-four courses on our website. The first twenty are in question and answer form. These twenty courses deal with the subject of "what Christians believe." In other words, they answer questions concerning the major doctrines of the Christian faith.
Each of these twenty courses is divided into a number of major sections or topics. Within the twenty courses in this series there will be about one hundred and ten separate topics which we cover.
For those interested in the content of the various courses, we have included a basic explanation what each course contains. This is found under the heading "Explanation of Topics And Courses."
What Christians Believe And The Case For Christianity
The first twenty courses on the Bible Answer Site explains what Christians believe. We have also written and recorded a single course which explains why Christianity should be believed. It is called “The Case For Christianity.” This course lays out the fact that the Christian faith is reasonable and sensible and that a person does not have to stop thinking or exercise blind faith to believe in Jesus Christ. To the contrary, the evidence shows that the Christian faith is true beyond any reasonable doubt. We suggest that each student, at some point, also go through this particular course. It will be a tremendous faith-builder.
Our Intended Audience
We have written these courses for anyone who wishes to study the beliefs and practices of the Christian faith. This work is not for scholars or specialists. We have not attempted to write what the non-specialist does not want and the specialist does not need.
We have purposefully designed our courses so that everyone can benefit from them. Non-Christians can benefit from the courses because they provide an explanation of what Christians believe about the major teachings of the faith.
As far as Christians are concerned, the courses are written to allow anyone to study and learn from them; no matter what their biblical training may be. This includes those who are just beginning to study the Bible as well as those who are pastors and Bible teachers. Anyone, from age twelve and above, who is interested in learning about what Christians believe, will benefit from these courses. There is something in these courses for everyone.
How To Use The Material In This Course
We have designed the material in this course in such a way that it can be studied on a number of different levels. The material is divided three ways: by question, by topic, and by course. While each question, topic, and course has been written in a logical order, it is not necessary for the student to study the material in this order.
Each question, topic, and course is self-contained. This means a particular question can be studied on its own without reference to the preceding or following questions. In addition, a particular topic can be studied by itself without assuming other topics have been studied. Also an entire course can be studied without assuming the previous courses have been studied.
Consequently a student, or study group, can go from question to question to find answers to issues that are of a particular interest. Or a student, or a group study, can choose any one of the one hundred and ten separate topics and do a complete study on that particular topic. Finally there is the possibility of going through an entire course from beginning to end.
Each answer is written in such a way so that it can be listened to as well as read. How the material is studied depends upon the desires and needs of the person or persons studying.
The Material Is Designed For Individual
Or Group Study
The material is written for either self-study or group study. The individual questions, topics, and courses are written in such a way that one can complete them on his or her own without the help of anyone else.
The courses are also designed for use in some type of group setting. The individual topics have been written for groups who want to fully study a particular subject. An individual topic can be separately printed out.
At the end of each question we summarize how we have answered that question. We believe this sort of repetition will aid the student in better learning the material. In addition, if someone wants to read a short answer to the question they can go right to the summary rather than reading the entire answer.
The Scripture References
We have attempted to cite relevant Scriptures to substantiate the points that we make. When possible, we cite a number of different passages instead of only one verse. In addition, we have not limited ourselves to one translation of Scripture. Instead we variously cite fifteen different translations in each of our courses.
How We Deal With Difficult Issues
We now need to say a word about how we deal with difficult issues. Christians are united on more issues than they are divided. However there are a number of issues that have divided Bible-believing Christians. When it comes to issues that have caused division, our way of dealing with them is as follows. First, we explain exactly what the particular issue is and the various solutions that Bible-believing Christians have come up with. Then we present the best possible case for the various sides. This way the student can evaluate the arguments and personally decide which ones fit the facts. There are some issues where there simply is not enough information to make a final judgment.
On the key issues of the faith we have made the historic Christian position clear. We will point out false doctrine that contradicts the clear biblical teaching on the central beliefs of Christianity. For example, when it comes to the Person and work of Jesus Christ there is no room for compromise. He is God the Son, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. Any other viewpoint is in error.
However on secondary issues, where good Christians can have legitimate differences, we have given each side the best possible explanation that we could find. If we have not fairly represented a particular viewpoint, or have left out any strong argument that favors a particular solution, please let us know and we will correct the oversight. It is our intention to give the fairest possible presentation of the issues.
Our goal is to present an overall view of Christian beliefs that is fair and balanced. There is no intention of dictating what others should believe.
In addition, we should disagree agreeably with those who hold a different perspective than us on these difficult issues. Let us never forget the possibility that they may be right and we may be wrong!
There Is The Desire To Expose The Student To Different Christian Viewpoints
We also want to expose the student to a number of different viewpoints that are held by Bible-believing Christians. This will help the student understand and appreciate what other Christians believe as well as why they believe. In addition, there is a chance to examine and clarify ones own personal understanding of what the Scripture says. Any conclusions that are to be drawn about Christian truth should only come from a study of the Bible alone. There should be no textbook, teacher, or tradition that takes the place of the authoritative Word of God.
The Audio Files
The courses have been laid out in such a way as to be of the maximum benefit for the student. In the the question and answer portion of the Bible Answer Site we have recorded a number of answers to the written questions. Each audio file contains the answer to only one question. Consequently, if you wish, you can listen to a particular file a number of times before going on to the next question.
At the end of each topic there is a test. The answer key to the tests is found at the end of the test. Taking the test will give you an idea of how much of the material you have learned. You will also have the option of printing out the test and then writing the answers to the test questions.
Each course also has a final exam which covers all the material in the course. The final will consist of true/false, multiple choice, and fill in the blank questions. The final exam, with the answers, is included with the course itself.
Take The Final Exam First!
To properly gauge how much you have learned through taking this course, we encourage you to take the final exam before you begin the course. This will accomplish a couple of things. First, it will show you how much there is for you to learn from this course. Second, when you take the final exam again at the end of the course, you will be able to accurately gauge exactly what you have learned. This should give you a great deal of satisfaction.
If you do take the final exam before beginning the course, do not be discouraged if you do not do well! You are taking the course to learn about this subject; you are not taking it because you know everything about the subject.
Putting The Beliefs Into Practice
These topics and courses are written as an educational tool to allow people to better understand the Christian faith. It is our goal that students will not only have a clearer picture of what Christianity stands for, but, more important, will have a deeper personal relationship with the eternal God who has revealed Himself to humanity through His Holy Word, and through His Son, Jesus Christ. Therefore this course of study will be practical as well as educational.
When one finishes, and masters, the entire course of study, they will not only know many of the basic truths concerning what Christians believe, they will also know how to put these beliefs into practice. This is our desired goal for each student. Merely intellectually knowing the material is not enough. We also want you to live out the truth which is contained in these study courses.
In fact, the ultimate goal of biblical education is the instruction of a Christian lifestyle. When the Apostle Paul wrote to his pupil Timothy, he told Timothy to mimic or pattern his life using Paul as his example. He wrote.
You have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, . . . But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed (2 Timothy 3:10,14 Revised Standard Version).
Paul’s life and teaching served as an example to Timothy as to what he should believe and how he should behave. Here we find that Christian teaching is linked with Christian conduct. Biblical education, therefore, is a lifestyle. Furthermore, those who believe in Jesus Christ are to put this lifestyle into practice for an entire lifetime! Thus, Christian education is a lifestyle for a lifetime.
May these courses help you accomplish this goal.
May the Lord bless you in your studies.
Don Stewart (The Bible Explorer)