Often when I am asked a question, the inquirer is looking for a brief answer rather than a lengthy discussion. Sometimes rather than answering the question directly, I attempt to point them to materials where they can find their answers. I do this not only to encourage the person to study on their own, but to familiarize them with good religious books they can read for profitable study. One of the books I go to repeatedly is Questions & Answers by Guy N. Woods.
The book is a collection of questions that were asked of brother Woods and his answers to the questions during the Open Forum at Freed-Hardeman College (now University) Bible Lectureship. We sometimes get nervous when another person asks us a question, or maybe we get nervous about being asked a question when we teach a class. Imaging being asked any religious question on any subject in front of thousands of people! Imagine these questions being asked during a Bible lectureship in front of multitudes of preachers, professors, elders, etc. Brother Woods did this each year during the Open Forum for nearly 30 years! Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to hear brother Woods on the Open Forum. Fortunately, several of the Open Forum tapes exist when Guy N. Woods was moderator and can be ordered from Freed-Hardeman University Recording Services.
This volume is indexed both by scriptures and subjects for easier reference. I encourage members to purchase this work and keep in their cars to read when they have unexpected parking time. Some of the questions addressed in this book include:
· “Did the witch of Endor actually call up Samuel, from the dead, or did she deceive Saul by trickery?” (1 Sam. 28:1-25)
· “Did David introduce instrumental music into Old Testament worship with divine approval?”
· “Does Matt. 18:15-17 teach that a brother, who holds to, and has publicly advocated false doctrine, must be personally contacted before it is proper and right to refute his errors publicly?”
· Under what law was Cornelius worshipping before Peter’s visit to him?” (Acts 10:1-48.)
· “Why is the birth of Jesus dated from 5 B.C. rather than A.D. 1, since the Christian era is supposed to have begun at his birth?”
· “Please give scriptural proof that Christian colleges have a right to exist.”
Christians should seek out and read the writings of brother Woods. All of his writings are excellent and worthy of our attention. He has written commentary on books of the New Testament that are in the Gospel Advocate Commentaries. Because of my enormous respect for Woods’ scholarship, I will not teach a class on a book he has written a commentary on before reading what he has stated on the subject. His commentary on James is still one of the best and I have several books on the Epistle of James by other authors in my possession at this time.
One should be extremely careful to know the author of a book they are reading; especially when the subject deals with controversial issues. This book is a prime example of one dealing with controversial issues. Woods’ views were put to the test not only during the Open Forum, but he publicly debated over 100 times in his career. I encourage members to request the Gospel Advocate to send them a copy of the February 1994 issue dedicated to Guy N. Woods so they can read for themselves what a monumental scholar Guy N. Woods was. Brother Woods passed away December 8, 1993. He was eighty-five years old. Guy N. Woods donated his library to Freed-Hardeman. One would expect the number of books owned by a scholar to be large. (My guess would be over 1,000.) The actual number of books donated from his personal library to Freed-Hardeman University was over 7,000. Indeed, brother Woods has left us an example worthy of imitation!
Originally printed West Virginia Christian, Vol. 12, No. 7, July 2005, p. 8. Reprinted by permission.