Excerpt from the Introduction:

In a religious discussion, the writer once ventured to quote some words of Jesus from the Gospels as decisive on the matter in dispute. His opponent objected: “You cannot take every word of the Bible literally,” he asserted; “There are two stories of the Creation in Genesis, and Noah’s Ark is a fairy tale.” When the writer had sufficiently recovered he ventured to suggest that this, whether it were true or false, bore only very remotely on the topic at issue, he was over-ruled, and the matter had to be thrashed out. The opponent was therefore invited to turn to these records, and offered a Bible, which he declined. He produced instead a text-book for the instruction of lay-preachers, and was able, with the writer’s help, to find the statement he had made in the index to his text-book.

There are two lessons in that anecdote. One is the very necessary one that we should make quite sure that those who object to the authority of the Bible know what they affirm, for most of them have been spoon-fed with very unsubstantial nourishment. The other is to keep one’s eye on the ball. This man was quite unable to learn anything good about the truth of the Bible because someone had told him of a suspected discrepancy, and he was being trained to infect others with his unbelief.

And he was not alone. There are very many people who know far more about the difficulties which are sometimes found in the Bible record, than there are who have been taught the elementary proofs of its authority. It is a fantastic situation. No one cares if an ordinary historian has been caught out on some trivial fact, for it is human to err, and such slips are expected. They can be noted and left aside. But such significant matters acquire importance with the Bible, precisely because the Book makes higher claims.

If the Bible has no claim to be divine, then the supposed small errors are neither here nor there; if the claim exists, it will not in general rest upon the decision in matters such as this. If the claim can be demonstrated upon vital charges, then nothing in these trivialities can upset the major truth, and they take their proper place as interesting topics which may help us decide exactly how far the big truth may be pressed.

It follows, therefore, that objections like these should be brushed aside at the beginning of our search. Let us see first of all, we should insist, whether there is good ground for thinking of the Bible as inspired. If there is not, your objections are without interest; if there is, a consideration of them may help us to decide how far inspiration may be taken.

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Author(s): Alfred Norris
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 148
Publisher: Aletheia Books

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