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by Jonathan Petersen
Can a thoughtful person today seriously believe that God wrote a book? An unprecedented number of sophisticated attacks are being waged on the origin, credibility, and reliability of the Bible. It can be difficult to know what to say when skepticism and secularism take over so many conversations. Confusion and doubt about the Bible being God’s Word are becoming as common inside the church as they are in the broader culture.
Bible Gateway interviewed Jonathan Morrow (@Jonathan_Morrow) about his book, Questioning the Bible: 11 Major Challenges to the Bible’s Authority (Moody Publishers, 2014).
What need do you see in society that prompted you to write this book?
Jonathan Morrow: The Bible is the most influential book in human history. But people are unsure what to do with it in the 21st century. Our culture no longer “speaks Bible.” What this means is that the Bible may still have sentimental value to some people, but it is no longer considered unique, authoritative, and true. At the other end of the spectrum we are seeing an increasing number of people who are outright hostile to the Bible and its message.
In addition to these realities, questions that used to be only asked in graduate seminars are now part of pop culture. It is increasingly common to see skeptical questions about lost Gospels, the origins of Christianity, Bible contradictions, and the general reliability of Bible talked about on YouTube, the History Channel, The Daily Show, and CNN. This is the world our young people are growing up in and they need to be prepared to have better conversations in the classroom and in everyday life. Also, parents need encouragement and training to help students find solid answers.
After wrestling with, investigating, and teaching on these kinds of questions for years, I wanted to write an accessible and reasonable response to the 11 toughest challenges to the Bible that every day people—curious students and busy moms and dads—could understand and use. That’s why at the end of each chapter of Questioning the Bible I summarize the three main points of the chapter and then give examples of how to use this knowledge in conversations. We need to both understand the truth and know how to help others discover it.
Questioning the Bible is a provocative title. Are you saying that it’s OK for people to question the Bible?
Jonathan Morrow: Yes that title is meant to start a conversation. Many people view Christianity and the Bible as just something you must blindly accept. But the reality is that all of us have questions about the Bible. At the end of the day, what we have to figure out is what we will do with those questions…
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