Dr. Jeremiah Johnston welcomes Mark Lanier to the show. Lanier is well-known for his work as an attorney, but it is his love for the Bible that led him to establish the Lanier Theological Library, an exquisite facility with about 17,000 square feet of literary resources, artifacts, and study space in the Houston area.
Lanier originally felt he might serve the Lord as a vocational minister. “I thought I’d love to be a preacher. I love the Lord,” he says. “It occurred to me, I really ought to pursue a legal career but continue to serve the Lord bivocationally. So I became a lawyer really just to pay the bills, but my passion has always been trying to teach people the Word of God and trying to the Kingdom of Christ.”
In his theological study, Lanier has been a student of Latin, Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, and Syriac. “Language is a deep love of mine. It unlocks Scripture,” Lanier explains. Much of Scripture is understood more deeply with an understanding of the original language and civilization. “Today we know the brain cells process thought. In the Old Testament mindset, they thought the seed of thought was the heart. When you read all of these passages in the Psalms that talk about getting your heart right before the Lord, we tend, in 21st-century America, to think that means to get your emotions and feelings right before the Lord. It’s not talking about emotion; it’s talking about thinking and using your thoughts to focus on God and what God wants you to do. It’s not talking about emotional religion first and foremost.”
Rather than simply being a personal choice, Christianity has served to form the basis for the Judeo-Christian legal system. It is a truth that Lanier, as a law professional, greatly values. “If you remove God, at the end of the day, law is what people say instead of what God says. God told Israel, ‘I’ve created male and female in my image. All people have equal dignity and rights and access to justice and all basic core human principles,’” Lanier says. “That’s different than anything else we find culturally then and now.”
To be kept from becoming swept up in the tide of popular beliefs, Christians should renew their minds with the truths of the Bible. “If we remove God from our system, we have removed the bedrock foundation and our system is shifting sand,” Lanier says. “We all need to be before God on a daily basis.”
Mark Lanier is an attorney, teacher, and author of books including “Christianity on Trial,” “Psalms for Living: Daily Prayers, Wisdom, and Guidance,” and “Torah for Living: Daily Prayers, Wisdom, and Guidance.”