Our Recipe for The Sacred Sandwich
In 1536, William Tyndale was condemned to death for his efforts to bring forth an English translation of the Bible for the profit of the common man. Brought to the place of execution in a town outside Brussels, he was tied to the stake, strangled by the hangman, and then consumed with fire for his so-called “heresy.” Though Tyndale had reason to believe that he might meet such an horrific end, he never wavered in his desire to produce a translation of the Bible that would one day “cause a boy that driveth a plough to know more of the Scripture than (the Pope).”
Today, due to the zealousness of men like Tyndale and Wickliffe, Christians have a Bible of their own, in their own tongue, in which they can read and study God’s word for themselves. Yet sadly, even now, many are scripturally illiterate. Many churchgoers don’t even bring a Bible to Sunday services, and those that do rarely open them because the scripture references from the sermon are printed on a handout or projected on a screen above the pulpit. Surprisingly, even during Bible study classes, a personal Bible is unnecessary because the specific verses are already printed in a church textbook or study guide.
Is it any wonder that, according to recent polls by the Barna Research Group, only around half of all Protestants in America read their Bibles outside of a church setting, or that only 9% of professed born again Christians and only half of Protestant pastors have a biblical worldview? (www.barna.org)
Dear Christian, did Tyndale die in vain?
It is the considered opinion of The League of Tyndale that the most grave crisis facing the church today is the subtle downgrading of the Bible as the infallible and inerrant truth of God for which Christians must faithfully heed. More and more, it seems, churches and the professed Christians within those institutions are being driven more by the culture and philosophy of these postmodern times than by the eternal truth of God’s Word. At best, the Bible is being used as nothing more than a collection of quaint adages to be used in self-help programs for personal fulfillment. At worst, church groups are abandoning the Bible as their study guide and using prepared courses based on “Christian” bestsellers that often use humanistic psychology and New Age mysticism as the foundation of their teachings. It is for this very reason that the Fellows have produced this publication. It is our call to the visible Church that we turn from the so-called “wisdom” of the world and acknowledge the authority and sufficiency of Scripture in all matters of faith and practice.
Calling this publication The Sacred Sandwich is not a joke. Just as food is necessary to nourish the physical body, God’s Word is the manna from heaven that is the essential, life-giving diet of the Christian. Scripture contains the milk, bread and meat of God’s truth, and fills us with all the nutrients necessary for our spiritual growth and well-being. This is not to say that we hold to this strict diet alone. By no means! Above all, we readily acknowledge the sovereign work of the Spirit in conjunction with our feeding on the Word. Without the Spirit, we could not taste the sweetness of God’s truth, nor digest it; in fact, we would not even wish to eat it! In the flesh, no one would find anything desirable in the Scriptures, for those in the flesh have always sought out the satisfaction of their hunger through the enticing fruits of this sinful world. Without God’s Spirit (along with prayer and Christian fellowship), we would soon starve.
Nevertheless, Scripture is the vital staple God has prepared for His people. Therefore the mission of The Sacred Sandwich is two-fold. First, we desire to use this publication to proclaim sola Scriptura: the “shorthand” declaration that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and is the only basis of truth for the Lord’s people in the Church. Second, and more pointedly, we desire to present faithful, consistent exegesis of Scripture as a powerful and irrefutable response to much of the current error being taught in the church today.
It is our position that the postmodern church has become too enamored with the world and all its trappings. They have slowly displaced the authority of the Scriptures with manmade traditions, cultural influences, and business practices that appeal to our earthly senses. Like the Hebrews in the wilderness, they have grown weary of God’s heavenly manna, and have desired a return to the tempting, but empty food of their captors in Egypt.
Shall we return to our previous captivity and die in the bonds of slavery, dear Christian, or do you desire the rich sustenance of God’s Word, freely given, that brings sanctification? As Christ declared in his high priestly prayer, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17).
We are pleased that you have found The Sacred Sandwich and are hopeful that you will find much spiritual food presented within these pages. However, if you read no further than this introduction and feel compelled to read the Bible instead, then our work is done.