Book Review: How Do We Know The Bible Is True?
By Ken Ham and Bodie Hodge
© 2011 Master Books
All in all, a very helpful book which touches on many different subjects concerning biblical reliability and interpretation. At times it ventured more into addressing particular issues in current theology than strictly sticking to reasons or evidence for knowing the Bible is true. Nevertheless, there is no place in the book that one will not be encouraged and enlightened concerning the Bible.
I would have liked for the book to contain an index because some topics were treated in several different essays and it would have been nice to have had that information organized in an index. One thing that I particularly liked about the book was that it had helpful footnotes throughout containing expanded thoughts and sources for further study.
The following are short summaries of the chapters of the book.
Intro: What Does Biblical Authority Have to do With Today’s Church and Culture? Ken Ham
Mr. Ham laments the change in how we used to view the Bubble as authoritative, but now see it as less than that. He sees our nation headed for ruin much like the U.K. He blames much of this decline on the trend of adjusting biblical truth according to the latest scientific theory. He contrasts operational science (what science can observe now) with historical science (scientific views of the past). He calls Christians back to trusting in the historic reliability of the Bible.
Chapter 1: How Do We Know the Bible is True? Dr. Jason Lisle
Dr. Lisle posits that the ultimate proof that the Bible is true is revealed by the instrument that enable us to prove anything at all…the laws of logic. These laws are not learned by humanity, they are innate within use. These laws function everywhere and at all times. They must be supernaturally infused in us by someone. Therefore, if God were not real there would be no logic and we could not know anything.
Chapter 2: Is the Old Testament reliable? Brian Edwards
Listing reasons such as the honesty in biblical writings contrasted with the way we know that other ancient writings omitted anything which showed them in a bad light, fulfilled prophecy, and confirming archaeological finds, Mr. Edwards puts forth a convincing case for the reliability of the Old Testament.
Chapter 3: Is The New Testament Reliable? Brian Edwards
Edwards applies many of the same evidences to the New Testament as he did with the Old Testament in the previous chapter.
Chapter 4: Did The Physical Resurrection of Jesus Really Happen? Tommy Mitchell
A defense of Jesus’ literal physical resurrection from the dead and a refutation of some common objections to His resurrection.
Chapter 5: Is Genesis a Derivation from Ancient Myths? Steve Ham
Mr. Ham compares the biblical account of the flood with the mythological flood story of Gilgamesh and argues convincingly for the superiority of the Genesis account.
Chapter 6: Is the Trinity Three Different Gods? Jobe Martin
Dr. Martin shows how the doctrine of the Trinity is drawn from Scripture.
Chapter 7: How Were People Saved Before Christ Died on the Cross? Steve Fazekas
Mr. Fazekas shows that people in the Old Testament were saved by grace through faith in the Promise of God that He would provided someone who would pay for their sin.
Chapter 8: Did Moses Write Genesis? Terry Mortenson and Bodie Hodge
A defense of Mosaic authorship of Genesis against the alternative Documentary Hypothesis (JEDP) theory, which he also (thankfully) explains.
Chapter 9: Did Miracles Really Happen? Paul Taylor
Mr. Taylor supports the idea that God performing miracles is perfectly reasonable if you believe in a God who created the universe out of nothing. He posits that one’s theology must be correct concerning the six days of creation in order to have a correct perspective on the rest of the Bible.
Chapter 10: How to do “Foolproof” Apologetics. Dr. Jason Lisle
Excellent chapter on “answering a fool” based on Proverbs and First Peter
Chapter 11: How Should We Interpret the Bible? Tim Chaffey
Mr. Chaffey explains methods of biblical interpretation that enable us to better understand the Bible. He also exposes some rather strange interpretations of creation held by William Dembski, a Christian scientist who believes in creation but modified to fit the current popular scientific theories.
Chapter 12: What About the Factual Claims in “The Davinci Code”? Tim Chaffey
Mr. Chaffey exposes the falsehoods and misrepresentations in Dan Brown’s book and reassures believers that we have the full truth concerning Jesus in the pages of the Bible.
Chapter 13: How Did We Get The Bible In English? Herb Samworth
A brief history of how the Bible got from its original languages into English and other current languages.
Chapter 14: Polygamy In Light of Scripture. Roger Patterson
A short chapter presenting God’s original design for marriage and how man has distorted God’s design by introducing polygamy and other perversions.
Chapter 15: Evolution and the Challenge of Morality. Dr. Jason Lisle
Dr. Lisle contrasts the moral standards of God’s Word with the arbitrariness of evolutionary morals. He puts forth a compelling case that all morals come from God…whether atheists believe it or not.
Chapter 16: Three Days and Three Nights. Bodie Hodge and Paul Taylor
Our current culture’s definition of what constitutes a day is different from how a day was defined in biblical times. This alleviates any problems with the biblical record that shows Jesus was crucified on Friday, rose Sunday morning, but was said to have been in the grave three days and three nights.
Chapter 17: Framework Hypothesis. Tom Chaffey and Bob McCabe
A critique of one of the ways people interpret the creation account non-literally. Many times, it appears we are allowing science to interpret the Bible, rather than vice versa.
Chapter 18: Laminin and the Cross. Dr. Georgia Purdom
Dr Prudom shows that, while the cross-shaped protein of Laminin may cause us to think about the reality of Christ, we must get our beliefs and doctrine from the Word of God, the Bible. God may have shaped Laminin the way He did as a vivid reminder of the cross, but our relationship with Him must be deeper than relying on the shaped of anatomical particles to strengthen our faith…or the faith of others.
Chapter 19: How Can We Stand on the Scripture in an Evolution Pushing Culture? Jim Gardner
Mr. Gardner lays out the practical ramifications of an evolutionary worldview contrasted with a biblical worldview. He also shows the flaws in several evolutionary beliefs.
Chapter 20: Is the Perpetual Virginity of Mary a Biblical View? Bodie Hodge
Mr. Hodge presents compelling evidence refuting the ides that Mary, the mother of Jesus, remained a virgin for the rest of her life after Jesus’ birth.
Chapter 21: Why Should We Believe In the Inerrancy of Scripture? Brian Edwards
Mr. Edwards rightly states that a sinless person would always tell the truth. Therefore, the Author of the Bible (God) has given us a book containing Truth, because He cannot lie.
Chapter 22: Are There Contradictions in the Bible? Dr. Jason Lisle
Dr. Lisle presents good reasons that there are no contradictions in the Bible. He also shows why some people allege that there are contradictions and gives rebuttal to these apparent contradictions.
Chapter 23: Is There Purpose and Meaning to Life? Ken Ham
A clear and compelling presentation of the Gospel from creation to the cross.
Chapter 24: Evolution—The Anti-Science. Dr. Jason Lisle
Evolution counts on the uniform design that God put in the universe. They count on this uniformity while denying its source. Why would the random chemical processes that fuel the evolutionary mode guarantee uniformity? They wouldn’t!!!
Chapter 25: What is Wrong with Atheism? Dr. Jason Lisle
Atheists have a problem explaining the immaterial laws of logic that exist in what they claim is a purely material world.
Chapter 26: Other Religious Writings: Can They Be From God Too? Bodie Hodge
The writings of other religions contain insurmountable contradictions which the Holy Bible does not.
Chapter 27: How To Properly View Evidence. Ken Ham
Mr. Ham says that the evidence for evolution and the evidence for creation is the same evidence. Only the interpretation and presuppositions are different.
Chapter 28: Is the Age of the Earth a Salvation Issue? Ken Ham and Bodie Hodge
The authors do not believe that a person’s view of creation prohibits him or her from being saved, but it can affect other aspects of one’s theology and their walk with God.
Chapter 29: Why I am Committed to Teaching the Bible. Dr. John F. MacArthur
Early in John MacArthur’s ministry, his father encouraged him with these words, “Preach the Word.” MacArthur says that this has been his goal ever since…and should be the aim of all preachers and teachers.
I would highly recommend this book. Beginners will get an introduction to issues threatening the veracity of the Bible, and learned theologians will find some of the positions in the book to be fresh and convincing.
My favorite quote comes from Brian Edwards on page 235 when he writes, “A church without the authority of Scripture is like a crocodile without teeth; it can open its mouth as wide and as often as it likes—but who cares?”
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