When Critics Ask

by Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe, Baker Books, Grand
Rapids, Mich., 2004, 615 pages, $29.99 (hard cover) ISBN 0-8010-1142-6.

One of the challenges that atheists keep promoting on the web and in articles in the media is that the Bible is full of errors and contradictions.  When I came out of atheism, one of the things that led me to become a Christian instead of some other religious choice was the incredible accuracy, wisdom, and freedom from errors that I found in the Bible.  Those of us who have worked in apologetics for a long time (39 years for your reviewer) have learned that atheist challenges in this area are almost totally false.  There are however, some cases where there is a need for some study and examination of what the passage is saying and what the words actually mean.

Dr. Norman Geisler has written many apologetic books and is a well known scholar.  He has a Ph.D. from Loyola University and is Dean of the Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Thomas Howe is an expert in Biblical Languages at the same institution.

This is not a book that one sits down and casually reads.  This is a reference book in which when someone raises a question about a particular passage, one can look it up.  The book is arranged from Genesis to Revelation in the order of the Bible.  It also has an index of unorthodox religious doctrines (such as astrology, Jehovah's Witness, New Agers), a topical index, and a scripture index.  There are also several appendices on the Hebrew language.

There are some cases in this book where the authors' denominational beliefs associated with the Baptist denomination interfere with their answer.  The Baptist belief about baptism for example causes the authors to categorize those who believe baptism is essential to salvation as "an unorthodox religious doctrine" and puts that in the same category as Jehovah's Witness.  There are other cases in which the answer given is far too theological and philosophical in nature.  In general these cases are stated as speculations when they occur, and they are rare.

Like any book written by humans there are problems like these in this book, but it is a very useful and well-done resource that is very helpful in answering questions about alleged errors and contradictions in the Bible.  We recommend it for that use.

Back to Contents Does God Exist?, JulAug07.