Thursday, August 20, 2015

Book Review : A Doubter's Guide to the Bible

A Doubter's Guide to the Bible is written for those who have doubts about the truth of the Biblical account. However as someone who trusts the Bible, I also benefitted from the teaching in this book. Dickson presents an overview of the Bible touching on those passages that cause the most angst, such as creation, the violence in the Old Testament, Jesus' kingdom bringing peace etc.

Dickson points out the difficulties of context—we are reading a book written thousands of years ago, yet most people read nothing else from this time period. We are also reading a book made up of many different genres and these must be read as they were intended.

Dickson helped me see the Bible from the wider perspective of the overarching themes and how many of the difficulties make sense when you look at the overall aim and purposes of God. For example, I liked the way Dickson explained the violence we find in Joshua. He pointed out that if we believe the Bible's descriptions of the violence then we must also believe the Biblical reasons for that violence, which has nothing to do with ethnicity, but with God's justice.

Included in the book are many recommendations for further reading. These are placed within the appropriate topics with a brief overview outlining the level of detail. This makes the book an even more helpful resource as it allows the serious thinker to do the necessary research to satisfy their own needs.

An enlightening read.

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