Why should anyone place their full faith and trust in the Bible? After all, there are numerous other self-proclaimed spiritual works available that are viable options for connecting with God, right? How do we know that the Bible is correct and all other choices are not? As a believer, I regularly refer to what is written in the pages of Scripture as the source of authority in my life. But for those who might question that approach, what makes the sixty-six books of Scripture stand out above the crowded field of religious documents and writings? What makes this ancient document so special?
One thing is quite certain and that is God and His Word are constantly under attack. In our day, men like Bart Erhman and Richard Dawkins demean Scripture as full of error and treat God as nothing more than a crazy man bent on making life difficult for humanity. To respond to such attacks, it is necessary for the believer in God and His Word to equip themselves with the facts and to be able to respond with more than just “Well I believe it’s true”. There are a number of apologetical tools we can wield when the validity of God’s Word is questioned. In his latest book Why Trust the Bible?, Greg Gilbert expertly looks at the facts of why God’s Word can be trusted, exploring along the way the aforementioned tools that can be used in response to those who purposefully seek to question Scripture or to speak to those who are honestly seeking what the Bible is all about.
Often books that discuss this type of subject matter tend to stray into the more academic arena, exploring the specific number of ancient manuscripts available, digging into every single nuance or supposed error in the text or walking in great detail through the method by which the Bible as we know it can to be. Now Gilbert discusses all those points but he does so in a way that is accessible to not just scholars, but also to the average person looking for answers. This is a book I would feel quite comfortable handing to a friend who is in searching mode because I know it would actually be read and understood. It is one thing to be able to toss about facts and figures and those are certainly important. It is quite another to write a book that is useful for the searcher, the newcomer to the faith, and the seasoned believer. Gilbert’s effort will help every individual along that aforementioned spectrum.
While this book is full of useful facts and information, in my humble opinion, the most impactful chapter is the part where Gilbert addresses the so what of it all. One can admit the evidence in support of Scripture is quite impressive and far exceeds that of any other ancient document. One can admit that the words of Scripture seem to be worthwhile. The important question is what will you do with God’s Word? Will you hide in your heart or just view it as a collection of helpful sayings? Gilbert saliently notes, “In the end, coming to the conclusion that the Bible is reliable is really just a means to another end, the end of coming to know that Jesus is reliable.” The fact that God’s Word is true means this thing called the gospel is true and the Messiah who died for our sins to redeem and restore us to our Creator actually did just that. Such reliability demands a response, either to accept the Messiah into your life or to reject him. I was pleased that Gilbert ended this book on that important note.
I highly recommend Why Trust the Bible? for its readability, the important information shared in its pages, and most importantly for its gospel focus. Gilbert does an excellent job of providing the reader with the facts (and there are plenty) while staying focused on the ultimate quest – what will you do with this Word that declares God is God and Jesus came to save. In the middle of the debate over supposed transmission errors or any number of other questions constantly raised against Scripture, God’s Word can be proven to be true and since it is true, we can trust it implicitly, declaring the glorious message of the gospel it contains.