Posted by: rcottrill | January 7, 2015

The Old Book and the Old Faith

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Words: George H. Carr (no information available)
Music: George H. Carr

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Nothing more is known of Mr. Carr, even though both the Cyber Hymnal and Hymnary.org list many other songs he wrote in addition to the present one from 1914.

This is a simple gospel song, with an equally simple but important message. As developments in science, medicine and other fields seem to gallop along ever more swiftly, what was new a short time ago becomes old very fast. How many of us have joked that before we get that state-of-the-art computer home from the store it’s already been replaced by something with more amazing features to marvel at, driving what came before it into obsolescence.

But it’s all relative, isn’t it? How new is new? And how old is old? For example, I have a couple of old books on my desk as I write. One was published in 1941, and it’s likely long out of print. But there’s one beside it that was published in 1856, making the first one a century newer. And Gutenberg finished his publication of the Bible in 1455, four hundred years before the latter volume on my desk.

Sometimes we can be surprised, thinking a thing is relatively new when it’s not. We may think batteries that are able to store and produce an electric current were invented by Alessandro Volta, in 1800. But archeologists have discovered batteries used for electroplating in Ur, a city in Chaldea, four thousand years ago.

There is a kind of cult of newness that bothers me from time to time, a craving and obsession with the newest and latest. The other side of that coin is the rejection and disparagement of anything deemed to be old. But just because something is old is not reason in itself to cast it aside. This has its particular application to spiritual things.

The Bible is certainly an old book. It was written over a period of fourteen centuries, by about forty different authors, working under the direction of the Holy Spirit. The last of the New Testament was completed before AD 100. That makes it old indeed. But there’s an important difference between age and obsolescence. Because the Bible is the Word of the living God, it is as up-to-date and important to us today as when it was first written.

The testimony of the Scriptures is, “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven” (Ps. 119:89), and the Lord Jesus said, “”Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matt. 24:35). “The word of the Lord endures forever. Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you” (I Pet. 1:25). And the gospel is “that the Father has sent the Son as Saviour of the world” (I Jn. 4:14). There is no new way to be saved. We can only reach heaven through what Christ did for us on the cross (Jn. 3:16).

The Bible, and the faith it summons us to is old, but definitely not obsolete. That is the message of George Carr’s gospel song.

CH-1) ’Mid the storms of doubt and unbelief, we fear,
Stands a Book eternal that the saints hold dear;
Thro’ the restless ages it remains the same–
’Tis the Book of God, and the Bible is its name!

The old Book and the old faith are the rock on which I stand!
The old Book and the old faith are the bulwark of the land!
Thro’ storm and stress they stand the test
In every clime and nation blessed;
The old Book and the old faith are the hope of every land!

CH-2) ’Tis the Book that tells us of the Father’s love,
When He sent His Son to us from heav’n above,
Who by richest promise creates hope within,
For ’tis through His blood we are saved from every sin!

CH-5) Oh, the grand old Book and the dear old faith
Are the rock on which I stand!
Oh, the grand old Book and the dear old faith
Are the hope of every land!

Questions:
1) What are some things human beings are counting on that could soon be outdated and virtually useless?

2) What are some things we’re told in the Bible that are as up-to-date today as when they were written?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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