More Books Read
April 23, 2021
Hannah and I took a vacation last week. It was nice, relaxing and needed. But, even on vacation, I got a lot of work done. I was able to read four books.
First, I read John Currid's "The Case for Biblical Archaeology." It was mediocre -- in fact, it was rather dry and tedious. It included a few points here-and-there that were beneficial; it was also helpful simply for the sake of having a good reference point in case I'm ever in need of analyzing some OT archaeological find . . . But, still, it wasn't the most exciting read.
Second, I read two of James Barr's books on "fundamentalism." This book analyzes the mainstream view of the Bible. Right or wrong, I'm one of those that believes in an "inerrant" Bible; I mean, I believe that the Bible doesn't contradict itself, that the human authors were actually inspired by the Holy Spirit, etc., etc. (One of my favorite writers recognizes some shortcomings of the whole "fundamentalist" camp and prefers the term, "inerrantcist." That actually might be preferred and favorable over "fundamentalist," which might carry too much baggage.) Anyway, Barr is no friend to conservative Christianity; he wears the term "liberal" as a badge of honor and vigorously attacks the integrity of the biblical text. Neither of his books were enjoyable reads either, but he's offering a slant that we really need to become acquainted with and -- at the least -- be aware of. I'm reading his material because he (and others) insist on a certain view of Genesis 1-11 and the authorship of the Pentateuch . . . They believe in the "Documentary Hypothesis." So, Moses -- if he was even involved in the production of the Pentateuch -- and others, we're told, wrote Genesis 1-11 in a "prescientific" era and made all sorts of mistakes and errors about the origin of the universe. In fact, we're told that the OT borrows its literature from the ancient Near Eastern literature and customs of the pagans. Maybe, now, you see why I'm reading all of this? If one's working seriously in Genesis, he'll need to be able to handle all of this.
Third, I read Jim McGuiggan's "If God Came." Here's a masterpiece! Sure, the book's out-of-print, but I'd really encourage you to hunt down a copy on bookfinder.com or somewhere like that. I really do think that it'd be worth your while and your twenty-dollar-bill. He takes a unique and different slant at Christian apologetics. Most of us are familiar with the philosophical or natural or classical proofs (teleological; cosmological; moral; etc.), but, here, we find a more historical and/or textual argument. It's not so "clinical" or "sterile" in its approach to the matter. Instead of listing off the bullet-points that most everybody can rattle, McGuiggan offers us some really good thought provoking questions. This book helps refute Barr; it also helps us with our views of "inerrancy;" it also helps us in Genesis, in certain ways.
McGuiggan's book was so good that I've adapted much of the material, restructured it and refined some points, preparing it for a 3-part series on apologetics at the Cherokee Church of Christ in Johnson City, TN. I think it will be worthwhile for all of us.
Tomorrow, I'm supposed to speak on "marriage" at the Taylorsville Church of Christ in North Carolina. Presently, I'm reading material on 1 Corinthians and have started carrying John Currid's "Against the Gods" but haven't really started reading it yet.
The learning never ends. Hopefully, you'll get to see the fruits of some of this soon in a Genesis commentary. That's the plan.
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© Copyright Drew Leonard 2019