It is no small secret that university religion departments often provide a lush environment for professors who wish to undercut the historic Christian faith. In recognition of this fact, and in an attempt to respond to such criticisms, Andreas Köstenberger, Josh Chatraw, and Darrell Bock recently published Truth Matters: Confident Faith in a Confusing World (B&H).
In the book, Köstenberger (Senior Research Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at SEBTS), Darrell L. Bock (Senior Research Professor at Dallas Theological Seminary), and Josh Chatraw (Ph.D. SEBTS) organize the book around the theological skepticism of University of North Carolina professor Bart Ehrman.
The preface summarizes Ehrman’s approach in his classrooms: “The Bible was put together to suit an agenda. . . . The Bible is basically a forgery. . . . Your Bible doesn’t contain the real words of God after all. . . . The Bible can’t seem to keep its own story straight. . . . The whole basis of Christianity is in question. . . . God doesn’t care. Maybe God isn’t even there.” (pp. xvii–xviii) Thus, Ehrman’s criticisms strike at the heart of biblical Christianity.
Truth Matters serves to challenge skepticism in general and Ehrman’s criticisms in particular. The book is written with lucid prose in a manner accessible to high school or college students. The book’s outline provides the potential reader a glimpse of the authors’ approach.
Chapter 1 – The Skeptical Mystique: What Makes Unbelief So Terribly Believable?
Chapter 2 – Is God There? Does God Care? Then Why Can’t He Do Any Better than This?
Chapter 3 – Let’s Make a Bible: Who Picked These Books, and Where’d They Come From?
Chapter 4 – Contradictions, Contradictions: Why Does My Bible Have All These Mistakes?
Chapter 5 – I’ll Need an Original: How Can Copies of Copies Be the Same as the Real Thing?
Chapter 6 – And the Winner Is . . . Who Decided What Christianity Was Made Of?
Chapter 7 – A Likely Story: How Do We Know Jesus Rose from the Dead?
I recommend this book for parents who wish to serve as trustworthy guides for their children who are preparing for college. I further recommend this book for high school and college students, and for any thoughtful reader wishing to address some of the foremost skeptical questions of our age.