The Bible was called forth by the moral emergency occasioned by the fall of man. It is the voice of God calling men home from the wilds of sin; it is a road map for returning prodigals; it is instruction in righteousness, light in darkness, information about God and man and life and death and heaven and hell. In it God warns, commands, rebukes, promises, encourages. In it He offers salvation and life through His Eternal Son. And the destiny of each one depends upon the response he or she makes to the voice of the Word.
Because the Bible is the kind of book it is there can be no place for the detached, appraising attitude in our approach to it. ''O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord.'' God's Word is not to be enjoyed as one might enjoy a Beethoven symphony or a poem by Wordsworth. It demands immediate action, faith, surrender, committal. Until it has secured these it has done nothing positive for the reader, but it has increased his responsibility and deepened the judgment that must follow.