By Lawrence Blanchard, ND, MDiv
In 1994 I was presented with new information (new to me) that would cause me to reconsider what I had believed and taught others to believe about what the Bible said and meant. I read everything I could get my hands on. Briefly, that new information compelled me to re-examine the Bible from the beginning. I actually started with the table of contents page. Then, I went on to Genesis chapter 1.
One Burning Question
There was one burning question that I had to answer: Was the Bible for and about one people – one family or one race – or about all races of people? I had to know because I had always believed, and taught others to believe, that the Bible applied or could apply to everyone – every “human being” on the planet. And both my wife and I had been missionaries serving at a school for missionaries’ children in the Philippines. We were a part of a vital support system for American missions work in Southeast Asia. My wife was the daughter of American missionaries and grew up in the Philippines for most of her life through high school. So, I had to know, we had to know, the answer to that question.
The answer to that burning question would determine whether we were justified all along with what we had always believed or whether we would have to repent of what we had believed and embrace a new perspective.
If we discovered that the answer was that the Bible was exclusive to one people and not inclusive to every “human being,” we knew what that would mean. It would mean that we would break with the long-standing majority opinion that the Bible was inclusive of all “humans” on the planet. It would mean that we would face possible severe criticism, personal rejection, and alienation from family, friends and ministerial colleagues. It would mean facing a future alone and a very uncertain future in respect to ministry opportunities. What would we do and where would we go from here?
Depending upon what we concluded, the answer could very well alter the course of our life. Nevertheless, despite the potentially ominous future, the truth of the matter was most important. We could have said “No” to the painstaking process of finding the answer to our question because the cost might be too great. But, by God’s grace, the truth was, in the end, the only thing that mattered.
So, we set out to find the truth by a systematic, methodical study of the entire Old and New Testaments. I recall the days, weeks, and months of reading, using all my academic references and taking notes. I was so energized, as if the Spirit of God was compelling me to continue on.
There were many evenings that I simply lost track of time as I worked in my study. My dear wife would call me and ask when I was coming home. “A little while longer,” I would reply.
Eventually, from the process of study would emerge a picture – a story that I would eventually use as a foundation to write the Covenant Heritage Series – 20 years later.
In my next blog, I will tell you how I found that story and how that helped me to write my next upcoming book in this series.