A Christian scholar has responded to the unfounded claims about the Bible made in Newsweek’s pages.
OK, so it’s not a cover-story, and it’s classified as “opinion,” yet I still give Newsweek credit for at least publishing a substantive response to their smear of Christians and the Bible.
I also thank God for Dr. Michael Brown’s effort to chop through the forest-full of noxious intellectual and historical weeds sown throughout Kurt Eichenwald’s original hit-piece. (My original post on Eichenwald’s hatchet job was here: “Skeptics Prove Their Own Arrogance While Attacking Scripture.”)
His response includes the following:
Have the sacred Scriptures become a political weapon in the hands of religious hypocrites?
Could it be that those who most loudly proclaim, “The Bible says!” are actually ignorant of the contents of that very book?
Has the text of the Bible undergone such dramatic changes over the centuries that it bears little resemblance to the original teachings of Moses, Jesus, and Paul?
There is certainly a tremendous amount of biblical illiteracy in evangelical Christian circles today, and some of it has trickled down from TV preachers and pastors whose sermons seem more like motivational pep talks than serious expositions of the Scriptures. And there is no shortage of hypocrisy in our midst – I speak as an evangelical leader – as we often major on a few specific sins of others while ignoring many sins of our own. As for using the Bible for political purposes, white evangelical Christians in particular can be guilty of associating true patriotism with allegiance to the Bible and the Republican Party, portraying their opponents as both anti-American and anti-God.
But does Newsweek paint an accurate picture of conservative evangelicals? Certainly not.
More importantly, does Newsweek paint an accurate picture of the reliability of the Scriptures? Emphatically not.
That is why the article has been so controversial. First, it is difficult to know who, exactly, is being targeted. Is it some evangelical politicians? A few street preachers? Evangelicals in general? Second, Newsweek appears to be attacking the Bible itself – although claiming not to – and it does so in a slipshod, methodologically flawed way at that.
Where Eichenwald’s piece spewed accusation after accusation, and unsupported assertions galore—expecting the reader to simply accept his authority and veracity—Dr. Brown points to established history and documents that can be fact-checked.
Why do I believe the Bible is God’s Word? For both subjective and objective reasons—my mind and heart are each fully convinced, due to decades of life experience, and ongoing study and intellectual pursuits. There are multitudes of reasons the Bible is the most widely-printed and influential book in history.
Jesus affirmed the reliability of what we call the Old Testament, and countless areas of research confirm that trust in the New Testament is well-placed, too.