As I child I have found memories of listening to the Bible Answer Man radio broadcast. Each day Hank Hannegraaff would answer questions from callers featuring a broad spectrum of Biblical issues. I even called in myself a few times. So, when given the opportunity to review this book, I jumped at the chance.
In short, the book did not disappoint. In this work, Hannegraaff gives an impressive defense of the Scriptures we Christians hold dear. In an age when the Bible faces constant attack, this work will give encouragement to believers and a useful tool to answer not only the criticisms from popular anti-theist attacks but it will also help in strengthening one’s one beliefs from internal doubt.
The book is outlined by the basic acrostic MAPS which stands for Manuscript Copies, Archaeologist’s Spade, Prophetic Stars, and Scriptural Lights.
The first section, Manuscript Copies, I found especially helpful. In these chapters Hank reviews the facts about the manuscript evidence underlying the Biblical text, especially that of the New Testament. If we were to hold the New Testament up to the same test we hold all other books of antiquity, Hannegraaff contends, we would be more certain of its accuracy, not less. Especially helpful was chapter two which focuses on the role of oral tradition and transmission.
The next section focuses on archaeological evidence which supports the historical accounts of the Bible. Reading through this section you are confronted with dig after archeological dig uncovering more and more evidence of Bible geographical locations and peoples.
In the Prophetic Stars section we see a recounting of various Biblical prophecies that have been fulfilled in the centuries after their original predictions.
Finally we come to the final section, Scriptural Lights. If you are new to the faith or find yourself wondering how Scripture is to be interpreted, you will find this a helpful guide. From a personal perspective, I found that sometimes an argument against Scripture can be reduced down to an argument against a faulty interpretation of what someone has wrongly assumed the Bible teaches. This section provides a very useful framework through which to understand proper Biblical interpretation and study.
I have two main criticisms of this otherwise enjoyable book. First, I feel as if Hannegraaf would be better off not taking cheap shots against popular atheist authors. In this day and age, its safe bet not to use term “fundamentalist” except when referring to those who would use the term to define themselves or when referring to zealots responsible for acts of terror in the name of their religion. Other than those two cases, the term just clouds the issue.
Second, as is the case with most of Hannegraaf’s works, he relies way too much on catchy phrases and acrostics. I understand the desire (and need) of an author to find helpful ways for average readers to remember important facts, arguments and other heavy materials, but this seems a bit much when EVERYTHING is an acrostic. Please, give us a break and give us some credit for being able to keep up…
Overall, this is a useful work and I recommend it to you, my faithful blog readers. You can purchase the book here.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.