It has been said that preachers simply “regurgitate facts and verses from the Bible,” but that they have no real understanding of true faith, mercy, and grace.
First, is this true? If so, are those who make the charge only regurgitating it?
Second, what does anyone know about God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit that he did not learn from facts revealed in verses in the Bible? What does anyone know about the nature of God’s love, mercy, and grace that he did not learn from a fact contained in verses in the Bible? Can someone provide us a sample of the knowledge of God and of His will, word, and wisdom that is not found in “facts” revealed in the “verses” of the Bible? We await such wisdom.
Third, when Jesus charged that some erred, “not knowing the Scriptures,” was He guilty of advising them to learn and regurgitate certain facts found in the Scriptures (Matthew 22:29)? Further, when Jesus asked a lawyer, “What is written in the law? How readest thou?” was He asking the man to “regurgitate facts” found in certain passages (Luke 10:26)? Should Jesus have appealed to an alleged “higher” source of wisdom and knowledge, rather than to Scripture?
Fourth, when the Hebrew writer wanted to convey the “witness” of the Holy Spirit, he noted and quoted Scripture (Hebrews 10:15; cp. Jeremiah 31:31-34). Will we, therefore, charge the author of Hebrews with “regurgitating facts” found in “verses”? Observe the irony — when the Holy Spirit of God was cited as a witness, His word, contained in Scripture, in Bible verses if you will, was given!
Fifth, both Paul and Apollos showed “by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ” (Acts 17:2-3; 18:28; 28:23). If one of our objectors did so today, and the Jews replied that he was simply “regurgitating facts from verses in the Bible,” how would they proceed to teach the Jews the truth about the Lord Jesus? Suppose the eunuch had made that same charge to Philip in Acts 8:35? Remember, Philip began “at that same Scripture and preached unto him Jesus.” Suppose the eunuch had said, “You’re just regurgitating facts from Scripture”? What then?
Sixth, neither the Pope nor the councils of men cite Scripture when they issue their various and sundry decrees for their churches to follow. When advocating church policy and doctrine on abortion, homosexuality, or women preachers, they generally ignore “verses” in the Bible. Is this better than the preacher of the gospel who cites book, chapter, and verse like Peter commanded: “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11; cp. 1 Corinthians 4:6)? If not, what is the point of the accusation? Should we, then, pay more attention to the Pope or a group of Episcopal bishops because they refrain from “regurgitating facts” from “verses” of Scripture? If not, why not?
Seventh, may I safely assume that none who believe that gospel preachers “regurgitate facts” will dare to reply to this article with any scriptural objections?
Adapted from Larry Ray Hafley