Share This Episode
Insight for Living Chuck Swindoll Logo

The Value of Knowing the Scoop, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
January 5, 2023 7:05 am

The Value of Knowing the Scoop, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 856 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

January 5, 2023 7:05 am

Growing Deep in the Christian Life: Returning to Our Roots


The Christian life is not a static one. It's a walk with God that's constantly in motion, evolving and moving forward. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll kicks off our next teaching series. This one is called Growing Deep in the Christian Life. It's designed to help you strengthen your walk with God by learning more about His character, getting better acquainted with His Word, and learning to draw near to Him through every step of life.

1 Timothy 4 is the passage that Chuck chose for his opening message. In my opinion, the saddest phenomenon of our day is not the level of cultural illiteracy in our society. It's the prevalence of biblical illiteracy. Some remain relatively ignorant about the Bible and its spiritual principles and practices. Folks, let me just lay it on the line.

We can't afford to stay that way. Clearly, God wants us to pursue spiritual knowledge with passion and with our whole heart. Paul issued an exhortation to his young son in the faith, a man named Timothy, regarding the extreme importance of sound doctrine in a section of scripture we'll be looking at today. That section is 1 Timothy 4, the first six verses. Let me read it for you from the Net Bible. The Spirit explicitly says that in the later time some will desert the faith and occupy themselves with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings influenced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

For every creation of God is good, and no food is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is sanctified by God's word and by prayer. By pointing out such things to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, having nourished yourself on the words of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. You're listening to Insight for Living. To study the Bible with Chuck Swindoll, be sure to download his Searching the Scriptures studies by going to slash studies. And now the message from Chuck titled The Value of Knowing the Scoop. Josh Billings was a humorist in the 19th century. He said on one occasion that it is better not to know so much than to know so many things that ain't so, which I suppose could be paraphrased, whatever you know ought to be so. Jamie O'Neill is a teacher.

In fact, he's taught in community colleges up in the northwest in the state of Washington. Jamie O'Neill became increasingly concerned as an educator about the gross ignorance of so many in his classes. In fact, he was not so concerned that they didn't know technical information or complex facts, but there's so many basic things about life that they knew just weren't so.

So many of the facts that they thought they had in place were in fact misplaced. He decided one day to do something about it, if nothing more than to expose the level of ignorance of those in his class, not to take advantage of them, but to help them see that they could hide it no longer. So he devised an 86-question quiz for his English class in college. There were 26 people in his class, and they ranged in age from 18 to 54. And all of them had had at least one quarter of college work.

These 86 questions were not what you would call technical or in any way surprising things. They were simple facts about the world around us, facts about people, facts about geography, life in general. He not only was startled to discover what he found, but he recorded it and later wrote about it in Newsweek in an article entitled, No Illusions in the Classroom. And here's a sampling of what he found that just ain't so.

Ralph Nader is a baseball player. Charles Darwin invented gravity. Christ was born in the 16th century. J. Edgar Hoover was the 19th century president. The great Gatsby was a magician in the 1930s. Franz Joseph Haydn was a songwriter who lived during the same decade. Sid Caesar was an early Roman emperor. Mark Twain invented the cotton gin.

Jefferson Davis played guitar for the Jefferson airplane. Benito Mussolini was a Russian leader in the 18th century. Dwight D. Eisenhower came earlier.

He served as president during the 17th century. Socrates was an American Indian chief. He adds, my students were equally creative in their understanding of geography. They knew, for instance, that Managua is the capital of Vietnam, that Cape Town is in the United States, that Beirut is in Germany. Bogota, of course, is in Borneo, unless it's in China. Camp David is in Israel. Stratford-on-Avon is in Grenada, or Grenada, as one wrote.

Cologne is in the Virgin Islands. Mazatlan, Switzerland, Belfast, was variously located in Egypt, Germany, Belgium, and Italy. Leningrad was transported to Jamaica, Montreal to Spain, and on and on it went. Most students answered incorrectly, far more than they answered correctly. Several of them meticulously wrote, I don't know, 62 times, 80 times, and won 86 times.

I don't know. As I write this, as I write this, says Professor O'Neill, the radio is broadcasting the news about the Walker family, accused of spying for the Soviets. The Walkers, according to a U.S. attorney, will be the Rosenbergs of the 1980s. One of my students thought Ethel Rosenberg was a singer from the 1930s.

The rest of them did not know who she was. As we enter the post-industrial information processing age, he asks, what sort of information will be processed? As I smiled and laughed my way through that article, as you have, I was suddenly seized with the reality that general knowledge is fast slipping from us, that we are a people who are supposed to be educated people. And I became quietly fearful over ignorance that sweeps a television addicted generation, where if someone doesn't do it for me, I'm not interested.

And if someone doesn't think for me, I am not desirous of pursuing it. I became aware, for example, once again, that ignorance is not bliss, that ignorance, even in the general secular realm, is the breeding ground for fear and prejudice and superstition and slavery, that an uneducated country is a country at the mercy and without defense to an educated country. And I wanted to study harder.

I wanted to drink deeper at the fountain of knowledge. I want to say to you who make your living in the educational world four words, press on, press on, never quit, press on, never quit. You who are in the process of getting an education, press on, never stop studying, never stop reading, never stop learning. Don't believe it because someone says it. Find it out for yourself. Never stop.

Press on. I read recently that an education is really nothing more than going from an unconscious to conscious awareness of one's ignorance. It's true. Every time you study in a field, you realize what a vast world there is out there beyond the realm of the little bit that you know.

Press on, never stop, keep going, keep learning. What is true in the realm of general knowledge is all the more true in the realm of spiritual knowledge. Talk about knowing things that ain't so. I am constantly amazed at the level of biblical ignorance in these United States, aren't you? I was watching the presidential elections some time back and I remember hearing a well-known commentator as he wanted to refer to 2 Chronicles something. There was the Roman numeral II and he called it 11 Chronicles. And I thought once again, just a little tipping of the hand, he has no idea how many chronicles there are.

He doesn't mean to be ignorant, he is just ignorant of the scriptures. That's bad enough for a person who doesn't claim to be a Christian, but how about you? What if someone gave you a piece of paper with 86 questions on it, just basic information about your faith?

How would you do? Or someone came rapping at your door tomorrow morning and said, I want to talk with you about this wonderful class we have. We're studying the Bible together and would like you to be interested in it with us. And you began to realize this person is not from your church and doesn't represent your faith. And that individual says to you, oh, I understand where you're coming from. You must really live under the delusion that Jesus is God. Do you realize, and then they give you three or four verses that seem to contradict that thought, could you stand with them and convince them otherwise?

Could you? Or you pick up a very convincing piece of literature that takes an attack against the scriptures and says really it's the work of man and those men were inspired, but that which has been passed on to us really isn't that credible. Could you convince yourself that piece of literature is questionable, in fact incorrect? First Peter chapter 3 verses 13 through 16 contain some words of exhortation about growing and learning and discovering truth for ourselves.

Not so much that we know a lot of things, but our problem is we know so many things that just ain't so. And it's a way of masking our ignorance and our inability to handle the Word of God accurately. A strong church is not only an encouraging church, it's not only an enduring church, it's not only a worshiping church, it is a learning church.

It's a place where the mind is stimulated to think, to discover, to find out, to stand firm in the facts. Peter, First Peter 3 verse 13 says this, who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. And keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

The recipients of the letter were hurting, they were suffering people. Peter writes to encourage them lest they become intimidated and fearful, but in the midst of this word of encouragement, he drops a comment about being able to defend our faith. And it isn't just an afterthought or a casual comment met for ancient Christians, it's truth for all times, it's a command. Look again at verse 15, set apart Christ as Lord in your hearts, now the command, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you. Keep looking at that passage, see the words make a defense? They come from one Greek word apologia. We get our word apologetic or apology from it, not in the sense of apologizing or saying I'm sorry for something, but this word apology carries the idea of a formal justification, a defense. Let's put that in, always being ready to make a formal justification or give a defense to anyone who asks.

Not only for our sakes, but for those around us who may not be able to defend themselves. Let me take you on a brief scriptural safari, may I do that? Listen to this journey through the scriptures. In the ancient days under Moses, God was so concerned that his people know his truth, he with his finger as it were wrote it into stone. The stone tablets came down from a mountain in the arms of Moses and were presented to the people as a guide for their lives. He wanted his people to know his truth. Before Moses took the people, well, he actually didn't take them into the land, but on the edge of the land before they moved into Canaan without him, he pulled them aside for a final review. The book of Deuteronomy contains his sermons.

Deutero second, namas law or a repetition of the law. It is a book in which Moses delivers perhaps as many as seven sermons to the people of God. In the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy, he tells the fathers and mothers to take the truth of God and instruct their children in it because the children will be exposed to a whole new lifestyle that will be antithetical to a monogamous view of the faith. They will be moving into idolatry and polygamy. They will be discovering a whole new way of thinking and Moses says ahead of time, these children must know the truth.

Teach them. By the days of Samuel, there had been developed, thank God, a school of the prophets. The school of the prophets was made up of a body of men who were interested in honing their skills and becoming spokesmen for God. They trained at the feet of Samuel and other men of God. In the days of captivity, God's continual reproof to his people was you did not act upon what you knew.

You acted in ignorance. In the days of Jesus, how often he looked at the scribes and Pharisees and rebuke them with words, do you not know? Have you not read? He said that to the clergyman of his day. Are you ignorant of what the scrolls say?

Jesus left the earth and left the church in the hands of the apostles. They have left for us letters in the New Testament and frequently we find threaded through those letters words like know this and I would not have you to to be ignorant about and such things as that. All the way through the Bible, the word to the people of God is learn, study, grow so that you can defend your position when asked about it or faced with attack. In fact, I studied just briefly this past week sort of a survey of church history and I was encouraged and refreshed all over again by the lives of men who took the book seriously and when necessary laid down their lives for it. Some of them wrote our creeds which exist today. Some of them gave us the dogma upon which we stand. They systematized our theology. They gave us our hymns so that we could sing our faith and in fact they wrote catechisms for the young so that children would be cultivated in a knowledge of the truth. Did you know how long it was that our forefathers stayed on this continent before they established a school of higher learning? Remember that little fact?

16 years. They survived those winters. They established their houses. They put together and settled their government and then they went to work to establish an educational center in a little place called New Town which was later changed to Cambridge and they named that little school this school of higher learning after a 31-year-old clergyman who had died prematurely.

He had left his library and half his estate to the school. His name was John Harvard. Ever read The Cornerstone at Harvard University? When I ministered at Massachusetts I remember standing neck not neck deep but knee deep in snow and I wiped the ice and the snow off the bronze plate that was just along the gate that opened into the Harvard yard and while standing there I made note of The Cornerstone. It reads, after God had carried us safe to New England and we had built our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God's worship and settled the civil government, one of the next things we longed for and looked after was to advance learning and perpetuate to posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches when our present ministries shall lie in the dust. That is The Cornerstone inscription at Harvard University.

My question is not did you know that but I wonder if those people teaching there today know that. The place of higher learning was established to give to the to give to the country a literate ministry, a body of clergymen who would stand in the gap, who would have a knowledge of the truth that was strong and firm and able to stand against the attack of the enemy for surely it would come. I want you to find a place somewhere in your Bible where there is a blank piece of paper and I want you to write down six things.

Will you do that for me? Just locate on the front of this piece or perhaps in the back of your Bible a blank sheet where nothing is written and just put at the top of that sheet reasons for knowledge. Let me give you five or six benefits that come directly to us when we know what we believe.

Why do I want to learn the truth of God? Number one, it gives substance to my faith. It gives substance to my faith. Those who do not know the truth rely on emotion, feelings or someone else's word or another book or some empty hope and their faith lacks substance that is especially revealing when they are under attack and when testing comes.

That brings me to the second. It stabilizes me during times of testing. It stabilizes me during times of testing when I know what God has said and the bottom virtually drops out of my life.

I don't give up the faith. I have been stabilized by my knowledge of the truth when the tests come. Number three, it enables me to handle the Bible correctly. By knowing the general themes of scripture I am enabled to handle the Bible correctly. Let me interrupt our thoughts here for a moment and give you a quotation from a well-known apologist named Dr. Norman Geisler whom some of you have read and may even know, a man I respect. He possesses an incredible penetrating if not irresistible logic in defending the faith.

It hasn't always been so. In his own testimony he says, when I first started sharing my faith I ran into people who knew more about the Bible and their own beliefs than I did. I didn't know how to answer them. Drunks and cultists actually quoted scripture to me. Right there I realized I had two choices, stop witnessing or start studying. End of quote.

And has he ever started to study? I'm not asking you to be a norm Geisler. Most of us are not so gifted intellectually to stand where he stands.

We're grateful that he stands there however. I'm asking you to think about the value of a knowledge of the truth so that you can simply handle the Bible correctly when it is quoted against the faith, the evangelical faith that you embrace. Number four, it equips me to detect and confront error. It equips me to detect and confront error. When I know what the book says, no one has to nudge me and say, did you get that?

Listen to that, that's not true. Or you know in light of what he just presented, this is out of whack as a passage of scripture is brought before me. I don't have to have someone do that for me. I have developed a knowledge and it's still growing. I still have gaps of ignorance that in times embarrass me. But that knowledge that I have gained, that reservoir of truth allows me to detect and fine-tune where that person's coming from. I can if necessary confront error with the facts of scripture.

And many of you are able to do that too. The truth of God gives substance. The truth of God stabilizes me in times of testing.

And third, the truth of God enables me to handle the Bible correctly. You're listening to Insight for Living and Chuck Swindoll's message, The Value of Knowing the Scoop. It's the very first study in the 22 part series that Chuck titled Growing Deep in the Christian Life. If you'd like to learn more about Chuck or this ministry, visit us online at By the way, Growing Deep in the Christian Life is also the title of a classic book from Chuck in which he introduces us to the essential doctrines of our faith. We can't think of a better way to pursue the opportunities that lie ahead than resolving to become better acquainted with the God we love. In his book, Chuck blows the dust off dull doctrines and breathes life into the practical side of theology. Again, it's called Growing Deep in the Christian Life. And you can purchase a copy right now by going to slash store or by calling us.

If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. It's possible you've been following Chuck's teaching for several decades. Perhaps in the early days, you had little financial margin because of the demands of rearing a young family. During that season, it was the generous giving from others that made it possible for you to hear Chuck's teaching.

Today, you're likely in a stronger position. If that's the case, let me encourage you to step forward and become one of our monthly companions. Right now is the perfect time to start a new discipline of generosity. By giving a monthly donation in the amount of your choice, you can do for someone else what others did for you in the early days. Becoming a monthly companion of grace means you'll have a ministry all your own, touching lives through your monthly giving. Here's the number to call. If you're listening in the United States, it's 800-772-8888. And you can also sign up online at slash monthly companion. I'm Bill Meyer.

More from Chuck Swindoll on growing deep in the Christian life tomorrow on Insight for Living. The preceding message, The Value of Knowing the Scoop, was copyrighted in 1985, 1987, 2005, and 2011. And the sound recording was copyrighted in 2011 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-04 16:00:31 / 2023-01-04 16:09:28 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime