Book Review: Why Believe the Bible? By John MacArthur

Book Review: Why Believe the Bible? By John MacArthur
The cover image for this book was taken from its Amazon buy page for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

Why Believe the Bible by John MacArthur, MacArthur uses a debate format, asking questions and then providing answers.

I liked the format. One can skip straight to a question they have or want a better answer (apologetic) for. A lot of the content is information you could find in other parts of MacArthur’s work. That’s mostly because there are really only two necessary arguments in apologetics.

There is a God.

The Bible is the authoritative word of God.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t more questions to ask or moments of satisfaction when archeological studies continuously prove the Biblical record. What I’ve come to see as a trend in any apologetic writings is that those two main points are the lynchpins of any apologetics. If one comes to believe those two assertions, he may wonder how things align or how things worked, but he can’t do less than fall to his knees in worship.

This writing does build off the above premise. Some of the questions I hear a lot are covered in this book. Who “decided” which books were part of the Bible? The answer isn’t just some group of people. There was a process that relied on specific criteria, and that started with the authority of God and Jesus, who then granted authority to His apostles. Naturally the next question that comes is how can we trust the words of men (those very same apostles)? For me, it was enough that Jesus granted them authority, but the more important answer is the distinction between mortal author and inspired word, which this book also covers.

While I continue to look for more archeological books to sate my curiosity, this book is absolutely valuable for those who are new to the faith or those who just have questions about Christianity.

Thanks for reading,


Book Review: Defending Your Faith by R.C. Sproul

Book Review: Defending Your Faith by R.C. Sproul

In Defending Your Faith: An Introduction to Apologetics, R.C. Sproul seeks to defend two simple claims for the defense of Christian truth. They are: God’s existence and the authority of the Bible.

I picked this book up because apologetics fascinate me. While I was hoping for more archeological and scientific information, this book is still wonderful for what it does do.

Before anyone takes my previous statement too far, please do not misunderstand. What I meant was more in depth archeological study. This book is actually quite analytical and scientific. In fact, it begins with a clear distinction between the terms contradiction, paradox, and absurdity. It then continues with its truth statements using certain criteria. One I remember is two different things cannot be true at the same time in the same circumstance.

Sproul bases his arguments on the fact that if his two main points are true, everything else must be, and that much is true.

So here I state a fundamental principle. None but those who are called will come to saving faith. Apologetics are intellectually valuable, but without God’s intervention, a human cannot come to believe. We are, however, tasked to defend our faith and share the good news, so those two principles are a fantastic place to start. C.S. Lewis started his series Mere Christianity in much the same way. 1) There is a God. 2) It is the Christian God. 3) His word is authoritative.

Sproul doesn’t simply provide evidence for those statements. He also provides counterargument to several other views.

This book is absolutely worth reading for Christians and non-Christians alike. For those just seeking to understand fundamental Christian beliefs, this book (obviously the best would be the Bible) is a reasonable summary. For Christians seeking a better understanding and manner to defend their faith, it not only provides comforting evidence, but counterpoints that answer questions I know I had when I was younger in my faith.

Thanks for reading,


Visits From A Man Named Nobody 67

Visits From A Man Named Nobody 67

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Hours later, after a small flight and a quick drive, Paul opened the door to his old house. His mother lay sleeping on the couch. The vacuum was out; its cord was strewn out toward the plug. The kitchen, normally full of various things heating or simmering, was quiet and empty. He looked back at his mother, who wore a robe over her nightgown instead of a simple dress or comfortable pair of jeans. 

He considered what he should do. The only options seemed to be to wake her up or to get some food ready for when she woke up. He stepped toward her when an idea struck him. He lifted his arm and tapped in a request for delivery food on his PID. Then he quietly rummaged around until he could find a notepad and pencil. He scribbled on one page, trying to think about other areas he might choose to research. That page seemed to only reveal nonsense and a few ideas that couldn’t hold his attention. He turned the page over and started trying to reconcile the formula to his original project. He brought up his PID to go over the formula line by line, but he couldn’t see why the formula wouldn’t balance. 

He ran out of space on that page, and went back to brainstorming ideas. Page after page flew by, each repeated the same two things as the first two pages: He had no idea where he wanted to research next, and there wasn’t any way to balance his equations for the project.

His mother stirred. It nearly startled Paul. He’d almost forgotten where he was.

She looked at him, eyes widening with realization. “Why did you wake me up?!”

Paul opened his mouth to answer, but the doorbell rang. He smiled at her. “I sent for some food. I figure whatever had you sleeping on the couch when you knew company was coming meant you needed that rest.”

He stood and handled the delivery person, collecting the food after a perfunctory wave of gratitude for the driver. He turned to find his mother scurrying from her room in a pair of sweats and an overlarge pullover sweater.

Paul set the food on the dinner table as his mother brought out some paper plates and plastic cutlery from the kitchen. 

“You have a long day?” Paul asked. 

“Well, it was certainly an experience.” She gave a weak smile. “But what about you? How was the trip?”

Paul shrugged. “Same as usual. Glad I found a flight on call, but since it’s not exactly travel season, I think it all worked out well.”

“I’m glad.” She sat down to eat. That’s when he heard her grunt in pain.

Paul was at her side before she could even catch her breath. “What’s wrong?”

She offered another smile and lightly shoved him away. “I’m not made of glass.”

“You’re not answering,” Paul said. She’d never, ever lie to him, but that made the fact that she’d avoided the question all the more concerning. 

She looked at him. “Well, I have some news.”

Paul waited as she obviously collected herself.

“I went to the doctor because of some headaches I’ve been having.” She paused. Paul sat there waiting, but she still didn’t speak. He wanted to shout, asking what was wrong, but he couldn’t force himself to speak. After an incredibly long wait, she continued. “They tell me it’s small, and that’s a good thing.”

“What’s small?” Paul’s voice sounded odd as he heard it. “Mom, what’s wrong?”

“I’m not really sure how it happened,” she said. “I mean, I felt fine except for a headache.”

Something strange happened. The anger that Paul always felt under the surface seemed to flare. For an instant, Paul thought he’d explode like some sort of super volcano, but as quickly as if flared, it left. He looked at her and somehow understood how hard it was for her to talk. All he wanted was to help her. All he wanted was to give her whatever he could to make her comfortable.

“Mom.” He wasn’t sure he’d ever sounded so gentle in his life. “What is it?”

A tear fell from her eye. “They found a tumor.”

He meant to take a knee beside her chair, but it was more of a fall. He wrapped an arm around her waist and used his other hand to lightly grip her head and gently place his forehead against hers.

“They say they’re going to go in and take it out.” Words started racing from her mouth. “I’m actually pretty lucky because we caught it before it could affect my speech or motor function. As scary as it all sounds, this could be over in a few days.”

Paul just held her as she explained everything. The food grew cold as he sat there holding her, listening to her describe what happened.

“Thank God they caught it now.” She whispered.

A strange barking laugh exploded from Paul. “Even now.” That volcano that seemed to vanish came back to explode just as quickly as it disappeared.

“Stop!” One shout from his mother, and everything froze. The surging anger fled at the sound of the only time his mother had ever raised her voice to him. His biological father had done terrible things to them both. She cried in sadness when they got the news about Bill. But she’d never done such a thing. “Yes, even now. This personal grudge you have with God is every bit as nonsensical as it is foolhardy.”

Paul stood, opening his mouth to argue.

“It’s can’t be both!” Tears flew more steadily from her eyes. “You can’t hate a God who’d take Bill or me away without first acknowledging he gave them to you in the first place. We’re human, Paul, and we’re all going to die at some point and at some time, and that’s frankly our own fault. So you can hate God, but you have to hate everything he’s done. You can’t choose to look at all the sadness in your life and ignore every good thing. And if you choose to acknowledge a God exists, then even you, the brilliant scientist, have to acknowledge that this being would be powerful enough to do anything, so fighting him is nonsensical, isn’t it?”

She waited. It stunned Paul to realize she actually wanted an answer. “I don’t want him to take you, too.”

He fell to the ground. It was just like that alley. All the strength fled. The anger he used to hide behind everything else fled, and all that was left was the fear. Was he really going to lose everyone?

… to b e continued …

Book Review: Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell

Book Review: Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell



Image taken from for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine

Evidence by Josh McDowell is an apologetics book that provides evidence and counter evidence to uphold history as it’s documented in the Bible. Right about here some readers might be inclined to stop paying attention, but allow just to make this argument:

When you wen to school, you read a book that told you what happened and believed it. When the world presents a theory as fact, especially in schools, people accept those facts. I’m not actually arguing any of the information in the Bible in this post; I’m only presenting the observation that one reason why the historical record in the Bible is refuted is because it’s the Bible.

Evidence takes on questions such as: “Was Jesus a real person?” “How old is the Earth?” “Was Moses a historical figure?” “Is there evidence for the plagues of Egypt?”

This book took me a very long time to go over. For analytical thinkers, this book is packed with relevant scientific data presented for consideration. I typically consider myself an analytical thinker, but this book is currently miles ahead of where I am in terms of theory and analysis.

I’d be very interested if McDowell broke this book down into smaller parts and provided more context and analysis on those specific chapters.

As I study the Bible more and more, and look at history, I become more convinced of the historical accuracy of the Bible. This can create some inflammatory points of debate I’d rather not go off on.

Image of Josh McDowell taken from his Goodreads author account for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

I mention the above simply to provide context on what Evidence does. This book doesn’t just state what the Bible says. In fact, it provides detailed archeological information along with multiple plausible theories. The struggle is it’s like reading three different (and information-packed) textbooks.

I’ll probably read this again in a few years after I’ve done some lighter research. At this point, it feels like calculus, and I’m just learning to count with my fingers. For people with a higher knowledge base in science or a deeper understanding of the Bible, it’s probably perfect.

Any time someone studies and tries to learn more about God, it’s a good thing. There is a lot of valuable information here for readers, but for my part it feels more like a challenge to study more as opposed to the direct answers I wanted.  That’s more a problem with my expectations than what the book actually does.

I’m still studying up on my apologetics now, and as I grow, I’m confident more if this information will make even more sense.

Thanks for reading