Saturday 5 November 2011

Biblical authority in doubt?

Ben Witherington III follows his previous chapter in Dembski & Licona's Evidence for God with "Jesus as God", in which he quotes so extensively from the Bible that I wonder if the editors put the sections of their book in the wrong order. This, the third section, is titled The Question of Jesus, but I can't help wondering if it should have come after the fourth (which I've yet to read), titled The Question of the Bible.

I query this because the book is supposed to be directed at skeptics as well as believers. To quote from the back cover:
Challenges to belief in God as he is revealed in the Bible have always existed, and today is no exception. In Evidence for God, leading Christian scholars and apologists provide compelling arguments that address the latest and most pressing questions about God, science, Jesus, the Bible, and more, including:
  • Did Jesus really exist?
  • Is Jesus the only way to God?
  • What about those who have never heard the gospel?
  • Is today's Bible what was originally written?
  • What about recently publicised gospels that aren't in the Bible?
  • Is intelligent design really a credible explanation of the origins of our world?
  • and much more
All but one of those bulleted points rely on the Bible, so shouldn't the Bible's provenance be addressed first? Perhaps the editors felt that the arguments in support of the Bible would not be as convincing as those from science and philosophy. We shall see.

Meanwhile I can summarise chapter 31 as, "Jesus is God because he said so, though he was sensibly cagey about it in certain circumstances."

Not very convincing.