Today it is common to relegate the Bible to the realm of history, allegory, and myth, an ancient relic belonging exclusively in the genre of religious thought and discussions of faith. Many today make a clean and sharp distinction between the realms of faith and reason. In doing so, they advocate distinct forms of “truth,” presenting reason as “real truth” while regarding spiritual insights as “religious truth.” Reason purports to hold the keys to the mysteries of how the world works while “religious truth” is seen as optional and limited to the realm of belief and faith. In this bifurcation, two distinct forms of thought exist side-by-side, and each individual chooses what constitutes truth to him or her. This is a consumer-based approach to truth, in which everything is by definition subjective, and the popular will is the standard by which all things are judged to be true or false. Reason views each human being as a creature whose task is to determine whether or not he or she has a spiritual component or is purely a material being. The outcome of this inquiry is purely optional, exclusively personal, and has no effect on the way anyone else might resolve the issue. Biblical characters and stories are interpreted through a linear process that considers them to be of little value beyond the narrative itself. Reason, therefore, regards the Bible as being largely without value in establishing standards for human life and conduct. At the same time, however, it recognizes the Bible’s usefulness to some individuals. Truth, then, is not absolute but highly personalized, and the individual may elect between the process of reason and faith to determine what works for him or her.
A contrasting point of view considers that man was created by God, who put into one being both heaven and earth. This view holds that man contains within his physical body both his spirit and his soul. He is connected to God and to the eternal realm through his spirit, while he is equipped to function in the earth through the investiture of his soul. His soul is meant to be submitted to his spirit so that the wisdom of the heavens may be received through his spirit and translated into functional activities in the earth through his soul. Anyone who in this way is connected to the heavens through the Holy Spirit is capable of speaking the wisdom of the eternal over all the circumstances of the earth. Such a person sees the Bible as a book containing the wisdom of the heavens to be decoded through the Holy Spirit. All the stories and sayings of the Scriptures contain mysteries to be revealed in this fashion. While a linear approach to Scripture is the superimposition of reason upon the process of interpreting the Bible (a practice that continues to acknowledge the supremacy of reason over revelation), this revelation-based approach considers the eternal point of view to be preeminent and therefore the superior standard by which truth is to be established. This standard inherently conflicts with the present process of determining truth on the basis of personal choice.
Dr. Corbett Gaulden has taken one of the central figures of the Scriptures, Abraham, and presented his life as one that contains profound insights into aspects of the nature of God in his dealings with man. Abraham stands out as a man who determines to seek and to understand the true God against the background of the polytheistic society in which he lives. God responds by choosing him to be the one from whom the Messiah will come. At the inception of this relationship, God establishes foundational principles by which He will act, and through which His nature is disclosed. These principles continue to function throughout both the Old and New Testament Scriptures and form a basis for the understanding of God Himself. This process of revelation introduces us to a transcendent order of being, which by its very nature is superior to the present order of determining truth through reason. The time of the conflict between reason and revelation was prophesied many centuries ago in Zechariah 9: 13: “(I) will raise up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and make (Zion) as the sword of a mighty man.” The Scriptures, as interpreted through revelation, are described as “the sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17).
Dr. Gaulden has revealed rare and valuable insights into the nature of God as viewed through His dealings with Abraham. His reexamination of covenant in its formalities and intentions are invaluable benchmarks for determining truth not just for that day but for all time. In the end of humanity’s time, God will restore divine order as the basis of both truth and judgment. This book by Dr. Gaulden has come at the appropriate time and is of foundational value.
Dr. Samuel Soleyn