Dr. Jack L. Arnold
ISNÕT THE BIBLE FULL OF ERRORS?
The fifth question starts out, ÒHow do you reconcile your faith with the fact that the Bible is so full of errors?Ó The reliability of Scripture is being challenged. At the outset we need to ask what particular errors the person has in mind. 99% of the time people canÕt think of any. TheyÕve heard someone else say that the Bible is full of contradictions and theyÕve swallowed the assumption. But sometimes a person has a specific problem in mind. If you donÕt have the answer to his particular questions, donÕt panic. Instead smile casually and tell him, ÒI donÕt have the answer to that one, but IÕll be glad to find it for you.Ó Volumes have been written on some of these topics. After two thousand years, no one this week is going to think of the question that will bring Christianity crashing down.
If the person hasnÕt read the Bible, thatÕs a fair indication of his insincerity in questioning it. But donÕt press this point with him. Under no circumstances should we make fun of anyone or try to argue by ridicule. This is deadly behavior when weÕre talking to someone about these important issues. Some of the greatest damage to the Christian faith has been caused by those who, though meaning well, attempted to win their case by ridiculing the other personÕs position. They only brought the gospel into disrepute.
The Bible does contain some apparent contradictions. However, our friend probably doesnÕt realize that time and time again an apparent contradiction has been vindicated by the discoveries of modern archaeology. Dr. Nelson Glueck, an outstanding Jewish archaeologist, makes the remarkable statement, ÒNo archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference.Ó And this phenomenal statement comes from one of the worldÕs leading archaeologists. For those still unreconciled conflicts between the Bible and history, our logical attitude should be to wait and see what further evidence will disclose. We donÕt have all the answers to all the problems. But all the vindicating data thus far certainly suggest that we can trust the biblical record about those details that still appear questionable.
Evolution is a problem in evangelism only insofar as it leads to an atheistic conclusion. It is unwise to get involved in a technical discussion about evolution because it isnÕt the real issue. I usually ask, ÒWhat conclusion are you drawing from your evolutionary position—that the universe happened by chance? Or are you saying that God created the universe and did so by using certain evolutionary processes? IÕm not convinced about that particular position, but letÕs assume for the moment itÕs correct. What conclusion are you drawing?Ó From there I direct his attention to what Jesus Christ has said and done. How God brought the universe into being is not so important as that He did it.
OneÕs presupposition and not the actual evidence often determines his conclusion. If the person is trying to suggest that God is not the author of creation and the universe did happen by chance, then we need to discuss this problem with him. An apparently strong case for a naturalistic position can be made by ignoring the evidence for Jesus Christ. But if a person is going to be intellectually honest, he must come to grips with Him. An amazing number of thinking non-Christians have never really thought about the evidence for Jesus Christ.