Book Review: Truth in a Culture of Doubt
Ehrman is Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has written several books that question the deity of Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of the Bible, including “How Jesus Became God,” “Did Jesus Exist?,” “Jesus Interrupted,” “God’s Problem,” and “Forged.” Ehrman is planning to release a new book in March 2016 titled “Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior.”
Ehrman has a large following within the atheist/agnostic/skeptic communities who are using his arguments in their attacks on the Bible and Christianity. Let’s meet the authors of “Truth in a Culture of Doubt” and see what they recommend for answering Ehrman and his followers.
Andreas J. Kostenberger is Senior Research Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Darrell L. Bock is Executive Director of Cultural Engagement and Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Josh D. Chatraw is Director of the Center of Apologetics and Cultural Engagement and Associate Professor of Theology and Apologetics at Liberty University.
These three men have done a remarkable job in addressing Bart Ehrman’s skepticism. Ehrman’s background in education includes Moody Bible Institute, Wheaton College and Princeton University. It was at Princeton that Ehrman concluded the Bible had errors. He said that led him from Christianity to agnosticism.
The authors of “Truth in a Culture of Doubt” explain the purpose for writing this book:
“We haven’t written this book to convince Bart Ehrman or other skeptical scholars of our views. Ehrman, we trust, knows most of the information we set forth in these pages and has chosen to follow his own line of reasoning due to a variety of factors. Instead, we are writing for those of you who have encountered Ehrman’s arguments (or others like them) and need to better understand the other side of the argument.” Truth in a Culture of Doubt, Introduction, p 11
Many Christians may not have heard of Bart Ehrman, but they have certainly heard his arguments against God and the Bible. One of the great benefits of “Truth in a Culture of Doubt” is that it will greatly benefit all Christians.
Each chapter begins with the claims of Bart Ehrman that the authors will address, followed by a brief introduction about the general, then detailed responses to each of the claims. Each chapter also includes discussion questions you could use for a church or small group study. The format is easy to read and follow and also excellent for quick research when you are talking with people who have similar concerns to Ehrman.
I highly recommend “Truth in a Culture of Doubt” for your apologetics library.
Introduction: From Fundamentalist to Skeptic
Chapter One: Is God Immoral Because He Allows Suffering?
Chapter Two: Is the Bible Full of Irresolvable Contradictions?
Chapter Three: Are the Biblical Manuscripts Corrupt?
Chapter Four: Were There Many Christianities?
Chapter Five: Are Many New Testament Documents Forged?
Conclusion: Reasons to Believe
B&H has produced several short videos with Dr. Bock that share some of the excellent information available in “Truth in a Culture of Doubt.”
Dr. Darrell Bock on “Truth in a Culture of Doubt,” Part 1
Dr. Darrell Bock on “Truth in a Culture of Doubt,” Part 2
Dr. Darrell Bock on “Truth in a Culture of Doubt,” Part 3
Dr. Darrell Bock on “Truth in a Culture of Doubt,” Part 4
“Over the last number of years, Bart Ehrman has proven to be one of Christianity’s most persistent critics. In book after book, he has challenged Christianity’s most cherished beliefs about Jesus and the reliability of the New Testament. I am so thankful that we now have this excellent full-length response to his claims. Kostenberger, Bock, and Chatraw dismantle the attacks of Ehrman one by one, showing not only that the New Testament is historically reliable but also that its teachings are coherent and consistent. In our current cultural climate of doubt and skepticism, this volume is a must read for every Christian.” Michael J. Kruger, President and Professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina
“Disturbed by the numerous attacks on the historic Christian faith by Bart Ehrman’s revisionist writings? This wonderful book offers a one-stop-shopping refutation of virtually all of them. Never heard of Ehrman but concerned about how the Bible originated, how faithfully it was copied, if it is full of contradictions, how to respond to the problem of evil and related questions? Kostenberger, Bock, and Chatraw demolish the main contentions of skepticism in each of the areas they address–essential reading!” Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
“Together Kostenberger, Bock, and Chatraw put up a rigorous rebuttal of celebrity skeptic Bart Ehrman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Herman has made many extravagant claims about Scripture as textually corrupted, fraught with contradictions, partly forged, and unable to provide meaningful answers to the question of human suffering. In response, these authors take up Ehrman’s challenge and show that, on closer reflection, Ehrman is telling a very selective and skewed story. Truth matters, and this trio of authors succeed in showing that the truth of the Christian faith can stand up to the most arduous of critics. A great resource for sobering up people who are drunk on new wine from Chapel Hill.” Michael F. Bird, Lecturer in Theology, Ridley Melbourne Mission and Ministry College, Australia
“Jesus said, while praying to the Father, ‘Your word is truth’ (John 17:17). Many are skeptical about this claim, and one of the most famous skeptics is Bart Ehrman. The authors of this useful and accessible book demonstrate that belief in the Scriptures does not represent the sacrifice of one’s intellect. Many will be strengthened in their faith and encouraged in reading this work.” Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Truth in a Culture of Doubt:Engaging the Skeptical Distortions of the Bible, B&H Publishing, 2014, 224 pages