The Bible, the Whole Bible, and Nothing but the Bible: An Interview with Eric J. Alexander
Here’s an excerpt from The Bible, the Whole Bible, and Nothing but the Bible: An Interview with Eric J. Alexander in the May issue of Tabletalk.
Tabletalk: Describe how God first called you to ministry.
Eric Alexander: From as early as I can remember, if anyone had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would not have hesitated to answer, “I want to be a doctor.” I think that might have had something to do with a story my mother often told us of how her life was saved when she was just twenty-one, when a young and inexperienced doctor performed an emergency operation to remove her appendix. His name was Eric Anderson, and I was named “Eric” after him. So I went to a school that was well known for the number of medical doctors it produced. But soon after I came to faith in Jesus Christ, I was preparing for university when my brother asked me, “Have you asked God what he wants you to be?” Frankly, I had never thought that He would be interested. However, I started to pray seriously about this, and I know my brother (who had led me to Christ) was praying too. Before long, I found I was being drawn (it is the only word I can use) to the idea that God wanted me to be a preacher of the gospel. When I spoke with my minister, he told me that he had become increasingly persuaded of this too. Doors opened in remarkable ways. My desire for medical training receded, and I began to study for the ministry at Glasgow University.
TT: What are a few reasons why preaching the word of God is relevant today?
EA: The primary reason lies in the nature of Holy Scripture, which is the Word of God: it is God speaking to us about every facet of our lives. This is the primary way God communicates His truth to us. Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3:16 that Scripture is literally “breathed out by God.” If that is so (and it is), then our primary concern will be to find out what God is saying to us, and the church’s primary responsibility will be to teach and preach the Bible.
The second reason lies in the nature of humanity. Men and women have not changed with the changing centuries. The world around us has changed dramatically, but we are essentially the same people. That is why we recognize ourselves in the pages and characters of the Bible: we are like Jacob, Esau, David, Peter, Mary, Timothy, and so on. We find that the eternal Word of God goes to the heart of the human situation as nothing else does. That is why, when we are preaching the Bible, people will say, “He was speaking about me.”