Vol.X No.VI Pg.7
August 1973

You Know What?

Robert F. Turner

Dear bro. Turner:

Will you please examine in You Know What? the article you wrote in July 73(I Believe Testimony in connection with Eph 3:16-19. I believe you were a little too hard on those of us who sing, He Lives. In other words, is the song really unscriptural? BD


First, thanks for writing. It was not my intention to be hard on anyone. Actually, I am often a bit put out with folk who are picky about songs, allowing no poetic license; but I do believe our songs should convey thoroughly scriptural concepts.

The article to which you refer was aimed at subjectivist, who look within themselves for evidences which are to be found outside, in the word of God. The song (a beautiful one, which most people like to sing) was only my example of how easily we can fall into the subjective way of thinking. There is truth in the idea that God the Son (and God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit) live in the hearts of Christians, but this is not Gods way of producing faith in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Read the article with care, especially paragraph two, and note that I cite Gal. 2:20 in recognition that Christ lives within the Christian. Eph. 3: says Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith (a faith produced by written testimony) but both passages deal with mans spiritual life in Christ, rather than with the means of teaching the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are thousands of people who could sing the song He Lives with misguided sincerity, and yet deny that Jesus literally arose from the grave.

The subjectivist finds evidence for his faith in his inner feelings. Now such feelings vary with each individuals experiences, for to a great extent we think and perceive with past experience as a guide-line. But when we accept nothing but that which accords with our experiences, or allow our feelings to become a more powerful authority than what God has written, we make ourselves judges of God, and superior to Him. (See Jas. 2:10-12, 4:10-12). This is the basic fallacy of much of todays indwelling Holy Spirit testimony. A man becomes convinced that his feeling is superior testimony to that of the written word of God.

The unity of Christians will influence the worlds thinking, but men believe on Christ through the word. (Jn. 17:19-21). Again, These (signs) are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name. (Jn. 20:31) God has couched His truth in testimony, confirmed, preached to all nations, written so as to be understandable (Lu. l:1-4 Eph. 3: 2-6 Rom. 10:14-17); all of which argues that this word is capable of producing in mans heart the faith that can save. You ask me how I know He lives, and I will produce Gods testimony.

But that song asks one to believe in a risen Saviour on the basis of subjective testimony.