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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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The Good Book Is God's Book

Millions over the years have referred to the Bible as "The Good Book." John Adams spoke even more highly of the Bible when he observed, "The Bible is the best Book 'in the world.  Although many would disagree, Adams' statement has stood the test of time. What other book has done so much for so many for so long? In the words of writer Charles Colson, "The Bible-banned, burned, beloved. More widely read, more frequently attacked than any other book in history .... Yet nothing has affected the rise and fall of civilization, the character of cultures, the structure of governments, and the lives of the inhabitants of this planet so profoundly as the words of the Bible" (p 18, A Dangerous Grace). The Bible, measured solely on the basis of its beneficent and positive influence -in human history and lives, is indeed the Good Book. When practiced, the Bible's teachings bring into human society and relationships such things as "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control' (Galatians 5:22-23). Thomas Jefferson paid tribute to the Bible's powerful effect for good. He declared, "I have always said and will always say that the studious perusal of the Sacred Volume will make better citizens, better fathers, better husbands.... The Bible makes the best people in the world." Indeed, as W. J. Bryan noted, "Mere is not a community which cannot be purified, redeemed, and improved by a better knowledge and broader application of the Bible -to daily life." The Good Book makes good people.

For 2,000 years the Bible has outlasted its critics. The reason can be found in 2 Timothy 3:16- "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is prof itable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." The Bible is the Good Book, but it is more. It is also God's Book. Herein lies the secret to its staying power -it is God's Word. The Bible is still going because God is still going. You can ban the Bible and you can burn the Bible, but one thing no man or no group of men can do - you cannot bury the Bible. It is indestructible. Jesus said, 'Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away" (Matthew 24:35). American scientist Dr. Robert A. Millkan once closed a broadcast with these remarkable words: "I suspect that the future progress of the human race will be determined by the circulation of the Bible" (H. 1. Hester, Introduction,  The Heart of Hebrew History, pp 9-1 1). More than ever before, may we commit ourselves to ponder and practice and proclaim God's Good Book!

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ