Christians are people of the Book. Why is the Bible so important, if God makes himself known to us in many ways?
God makes himself known in the human mind. God built into each of our minds the knowledge of his existence. All other religions are not completely wrong. It should not surprise a Christian when a Hindu, Muslim, or even a hardened atheist says or does something in complete agreement with the Christian faith. It is this common knowledge shining through. Even the idea of worship, whether it is to Allah, Shiva, or alleged human reason (in the case of atheism), represents our inbuilt design to worship. Yet, such false religion and idolatry demonstrates that the human mind, tarnished by sin, is insufficient to know who God truly is. The object of our worship often displaces the God whom our desire to worship was designed for.
If not the human mind, then perhaps nature can sufficiently lead us to a knowledge of God. After all the Apostle Paul did say, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made…” However, just after this, the Apostle says, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:20-21) Though God’s fingerprints are all around us, our futile thinking and foolish hearts suppress truth about him. Therefore, one person can look at a beautiful maple tree with its branches outstretched and shade below and say, “What a beautiful tree; the tree must be God.” Another might say, “What a beautiful tree; God must be within the tree.” Still another, “See what unwielded random chance and survival of the fittest has produced.” Yet another, “The Maker of heaven and earth has fashioned this tree.” Because of our futile thinking, nature remains insufficient to lead us to a clear understanding of who God is.
If not nature, then maybe God’s mighty works throughout history can give us knowledge of who he is. However, we know that experience is not enough. Just as our senses can be fooled, so too can our interpretation of experience. How do we know our interpretations of God’s work is on target or missing the mark altogether? Even our experiences of God’s work are insufficient.
It is necessary for God to speak directly to us. This he has done throughout the pages of the Bible (2 Peter 1:21). God loves us too much to leave us in a cloud of uncertainty (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119:41-42; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). He tells us who he is.