Friday, December 01, 2006

Book Review: Is The Bible Intolerant?

Originally uploaded by Phil Steiger.
A review I posted on Amazon:

This book is a wonderful and easy to read resource that counters many of the slogans used to deny the truth claims of Christianity or the Bible. Often your garden-variety skeptic will say things like, “the Bible has been changed so many times we can’t trust what we have,” or, “more people have died because of religion than any other reason,” and use such good-sounding slogans to ward off any serious argument. Orr-Ewing’s book does a masterful job of dealing with such claims head-on, and in this way it makes a great read for both Christians and skeptics.

There is more to the book than just anti-sloganeering. Orr-Ewing also deals well in the realms of comparative religions--being especially well versed with Islam and the Qur’an--biblical criticism, and philosophy. For example, the author does a wonderful job of addressing the criticism that Scripture is homophobic. While noting the values inherent in such a charge, she speaks well to the biblical witness on human sexuality. She notes that the biblical view is far from culturally conditioned. The surrounding cultures in the times represented by both the Old and New Testaments were very open with their homosexual, and other sexual, practices. Both Testaments represent a very counter-cultural view for their times, and it just happens to be the case that the biblical view on human sexuality is again deeply counter-cultural. There was nothing culturally conditioned about its view when it was written, and there is no good reason for its view to be altered now that it is again.

This is one of those wonderful books written by a serious theologian that addresses several pertinent issues in a manner accessible to most every reader. I highly recommend this book to any skeptic honestly seeking answers to their questions and to Christians looking for a solid apologetic resource.


Frank Walton said...

I actually bought this book a few months back. You're right, it's a great and easy read.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'll look for this one. I'm tired of wondering what I believe anymore. As a "lifelong" Christian (A/G raised & educated) I'm becoming more and more discouraged by the conversations with fellow believers who embrace secular theories over God's Word. BTW - your ID blog was over my head. Do you subscribe to new earth/old earth/7day creationism or ID evolution combo theory? Just curious. We just moved to the Springs area. Maybe we'll visit...

Anonymous said...

I wonder if you might be interested in my Bible Reading Notes, covering the whole of Scripture
Best Wishes.

Phil Steiger said...

Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts.

Anonymous-thanks for your remarks. If you are struggling with having Christians to talk to who hold biblical worldviews, this book might just be an encouragement to you. I study this kind of stuff often, and I think this book is a great resource for a believer looking for good thinking done by someone who is solidly evangelical.

As for the ID stuff, I believe that most of the options you listed are areas where Christians can ultimately "agree to disagree on," but for several reasons I hold to an old-earth point of view. I do not consider myself what you might call a "theistic evolutionist," though many Christians who disagree with old-earth theories automatically assume that old-earth theorists are some form of evolutionist.

If you decide to visit, you all are more than welcome and I look forward to meeting you. And if you want to sit and talk through some of these things or just get acquainted, let me know and I will buy the coffee!