Viewpoint from Mike Wiltshire for 28th Jan 2010
Ex editor for the Financial Times
Member of Earlham Christian Centre
Finding a firm foundation
As a journalist with a lifetime’s experience in the media, I am somewhat grieved when people say: “You simply can’t believe what you read in the papers.”
Although I understand this scepticism, and there are reasons for it, the fact is that most UK journalists – especially in the worthy regional papers of East Anglia - do strive to be accurate.
This month, media pundits are trying hard to predict what 2010 holds for us. But as the famous preacher, Dr Billy Graham, often declared: “The Bible is more up-to-date than tomorrow’s newspaper.”
By this, Dr Graham – who preached face-to-face to 100 million people - meant that the Bible paints an accurate picture of the human condition, and also predicts where the world is heading. Written over a period of 1,500 years, the Bible has more than 40 authors who came from three continents (Asia, Africa and Europe), and from many walks of life. The Scriptures says these writers were inspired by God’s Holy Spirit.
Although some critics claim the Bible is “full of errors,” the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 revealed in spectacular fashion just how reliable the Bible really is. No wonder the psalmist declared: “All Your words are true . . . and will stand forever.”
The Bible also speaks about the future. For example, of 2,500 Bible prophecies, 2,000 have already been fulfilled, say scholars.
In today’s age of anxiety, the Bible remains a compass for life with a timeless message of hope for those who reads it with an open heart. In the book of Matthew, Jesus said: “Come unto me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, I will give you rest.”
Jesus also promised that no matter what happens in the future, his words “will never pass away,” (Matthew 24:35).
Some readers may ask: how can a journalist – “a professional sceptic” – accept these ancient scriptures as relevant for today?
But as a Christian - and a writer who has travelled in 50 countries - I find that the Bible can answer the deepest needs of the human heart, whoever we are and wherever we live. Furthermore, faced with today’s uncertainties, this New Year is a good time to rediscover the Bible and find a firm foundation for life.
“Our lives are often stalked with fear . . . there is too much fear around,” says the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James.
He is right. The NHS also recognises this problem, having just launched a stress helpline to help people deal with anxiety and depression – often caused by debt and unemployment.
Although the Bible remains a world best-seller, it is often left on shelves, unread. But its treasures can only be found by those who dig for them. The more you read the Bible, the more you’ll love the Author.
From start to finish, it’s really the story of one man, Jesus. A good place to start is the book of Luke, which paints a vivid word-picture of his life. Why not take a look? It could change your life.