It would be safe to say that the world is growing increasingly hostile towards a biblical worldview. The once prominent influence of Christianity has taken a cultural backseat to the rise of a post-Christian society, and the effects therein can be seen almost everywhere. For the sake of modernity, this cultural shift has largely encouraged an undue stance of skepticism towards the Bible. It is here that In Defense of the Bible: A Comprehensive Apologetic for the Authority of Scripture edited by Steven B. Cowan and Terry L. Wilder provides the reader with a much-needed reevaluation of the current challenges facing the sacred Scriptures.
Despite the onslaught of negative opinion concerning the Bible, the contributors of this volume remain firmly persuaded with the faith of the Church in the inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture. This conviction is stated rather unashamedly in the introduction. In Defense of the Bible is divided into three major sections: (1) Philosophical and Methodological Challenges, (2) Textual and Historical Challenges, and (3) Ethical, Scientific, and Theological Challenges. Each of these sections are strategically pointed at specific challenges that have arisen against the Bible. These challenges are largely variegated in nature, but Cowan and Wilder have done justice to the subtitle in their attempt to provide a comprehensive apologetic.
Depending on the particular interest of the reader, I found that the content of the chapters amid the three major sections mentioned above can vary as much as the challenges they address. For example, if your interests are more easily perked by the philosophical and methodological issues, the opening four chapters will be a goldmine of useful information. However, if these issues are not of immediate importance or interest, regardless of the content therein, the reader is likely to find the treatment to be satisfactory but not overly helpful. I was among the latter group in the opening chapters of the book, although the chapter on higher criticism by Charles L. Quarles was easily one of the most helpful chapters in the book.
The second section of the book is where I found the most benefit. It is here that the reader is exposed to some of the most substantial challenges to the Bible. The other challenges tackled in the book are important, but largely irrelevant if the text of the Bible is unsustainable. This is also where much of the modern challenge today is being directed, and directed quite strategically. Both the Old Testament and the New are thoroughly addressed, and the contributors to this section are all qualified voices amid the larger academic dialog. The chapter by Daniel B. Wallace is worth admission alone. The same could easily be said for the chapters by Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Paul D. Wegner, and Paul W. Barnett, but Wallace’s chapter will be noteworthy for anyone familiar with the frequent challenges administered by Bart D. Ehrman and others.
The challenges that are addressed in this volume show no sign of decelerating anytime soon. It is in the best interest of Christians everywhere to be familiar with these challenges, both ready and equipped to provide a defense for the hope that is within them. Thus, In Defense of the Bible: A Comprehensive Apologetic for the Authority of Scripture edited by Steven B. Cowan and Terry L. Wilder is a book that I could not recommend more enthusiastically! It will both strengthen your confidence and encourage your faith!
I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.