Photo Source: © Stephen Voss / Agentur Focus
With the headline, “Meet the preacher who teaches the Bible to the US Cabinet,” a leading German Newspaper story on Capitol Ministries hit newsstands across Europe during the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
The newspaper Welt am Sonntag, which is based in Berlin, published the story as Germans observed Oct. 31, 1517, the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to a church door challenging Catholic Church doctrine and beginning the Reformation which swept across Europe.
Ralph Drollinger, President and Founder of Capitol Ministries, was interviewed for the story by Lucas Wiegelmann, the religion reporter for the newspaper, who traveled to Washington, D.C. for the interview.
Please join us in praying that the story will fuel the efforts of Samuel Mitrofan, Capitol Ministries’ Western Europe Director who is working to establish discipleship Bible study ministries to leaders of nations in his area of the world.
The story is question and answer format with some expository commentary by Wiegelmann.
Here are selections from the story:
“Since March of this year, Ralph Drollinger has been giving a weekly Bible course to Donald Trump’s cabinet.
“Soon he will be holding these meetings in the White House itself, right next to the Presidential Office in the West Wing.
“This is rather unusual.
“There was a Bible circle in the White House under George W. Bush, but only for lower-ranking employees, of their own accord. According to Drollinger, there hasn’t been a course for ministers for at least a hundred years, and if something similar existed in the White House before then, it is not known about.”
WELT AM SONNTAG: Why do politicians need a Bible study group?
Drollinger: If they don’t know biblical principles then it’s like the Book of Judges which says twice: “Every man did what was right in his own eyes”. But we believe in the New Testament idea that everyone should bring their thoughts “captive to the obedience of Christ”. And how do you go from what’s taught in Judges to what’s taught in the New Testament unless you have a prophetic voice, someone who can teach you week in and week out the rudimentary principles of scripture and how those apply to your life personally? Because if they don’t know them, how can they be obedient to them? Without a preacher, the boat lacks the helm.
WELT AM SONNTAG: In your interpretations you ignore the basic findings of historical-critical research as to the origins of individual biblical books or their authority. The Proverbs of Solomon, for example, that you mentioned, don’t appear in one complete book from the father to his son, but in fact are the result of a number of different quotes. But you stick to the original attributions: Moses wrote the five books of Moses, St. Peter wrote St. Peter’s Epistles and so on. Why do you do that?
Drollinger: Those theories you mention killed a lot of evangelical churches in America and are one of the main confluences of theological liberalism. But they have been postulated decades ago, some of them are even from the 19th century. Today, there’s so much more evidence that plays in favor of the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible. Archeological findings for instance. How often do I hear: “You can’t find this and that in the archeological records to support what the Bible says.” Well now there’s so much more biblical archeological discovery that it really supports the infallibility of the Word of God. You would be really amazed.
WELT AM SONNTAG: The Bible appeared over the course of centuries, in very different contexts, written by very different people. As a result there are contradictions. How do you deal with these contradictions?
Drollinger: That’s easy. One of the principles of my hermeneutics says: If God is infallible and perfect in nature, and if all scripture is actually the breath of God put on paper, then it would follow that the Bible would hold his attributes of perfection and infallibility. So you have to presume in interpreting the Bible that it doesn’t contradict itself; you give the benefit of doubt to the author. So if you come across a gray area of scripture, you have to interpret it alongside the more definitive passages of scripture in order to synthesize it.
WELT AM SONNTAG: Why don’t you just present the contradictions? Why don’t you just say “Okay, according to the Gospel of Mark Jesus was crucified on the third hour of the day, so in the morning, and according to the Gospel of John he was crucified on the sixth hour, so midday, but at the actual theological core of the crucifixion itself this discrepancy is insignificant”?
Drollinger: These are seeming incongruities. But if you look outside of the box you can iron them out. There are books written on those tough passages. One Gospel writer might say Jesus was crucified at noon but what he means in the original Greek is that it happened when the sun was up. Then another one might be more definitive saying it was 9am. Those things can all be combed out by just looking outside the box.
WELT AM SONNTAG: Your organization wants to come to Germany next. Why are you only attempting this now? Is Germany particularly difficult?
Drollinger: We want to have a full-time trained Bible leader in every federal capital of the world, and we’re coming to Berlin soon. I mean, after all I’m a Kraut myself, my name is German, how could I deny my heritage… But we used to begin with the countries where there is the lowest hanging fruit. We’re doing very well in Romania at the moment, for example, since there are so many Christian legislators. I do think Germany is going to be tougher. I hear it’s pretty secular. But we’re open to what God gives us there.