Can we still believe the bible? Book Review

 
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Can We Still Believe the Bible? is a fresh answer to an old question. It is not the first of its kind-tackling the difficult questions of the Bible’s relevance today-but it does so in a transforming and challenging way.

Whatever your reason for asking the question, Can We Still Believe the Bible? Bryan Ball will tackle your questions with care, insight and depth. Ball outlines that believing does not “mean superstitious or blind belief. We mean belief that is based on evidence that can be verified” (page 6). Dedicated to his young friends in the high school Bible class at Lakeside church in 2005 and 2006, it is obvious that Ball intended Can We Still Believe the Bible? for all ages.

CanwestillbelieveBall does not slowly step into the topic. Rather he begins with seven reasons why it matters whether we can believe the Bible: “The Bible’s claims, source of information about Jesus, the possibility of a life to come, its relevance to life, its ability to change people’s lives, the basis of Western culture and a source of hope.” Many individuals struggle to buy into the claims and relevance of the Bible, yet Ball states, “If the Bible is not true, it’s all just hype or wishful thinking. But if there is even a remote possibility the Bible can be trusted, that it is indeed a reliable record of Jesus, this in itself is reason enough to think seriously about the evidence presented” (page 16).

Reading Can We Still Believe the Bible? is like sitting with a professor and having a conversation. Ball clearly addresses the many arguments and questions providing ample support and evidence. One cannot read this book and ignore the facts. The strongest argument found is that of hope-and Ball does not hesitate to hold up the life-changing hope offered in Scripture: “Against this increasingly stark background of deepening hopelessness, the Bible speaks constantly of hope. . . . This is the hope . . . Jesus will come again as He promised on many occasions” (page 25). 

The question is really “Is there any credible evidence to support belief in the Bible today?” (page 49). One cannot argue with Ball’s explanation of archeology and early manuscripts of Scripture. Ball outlines how much of the Bible is supported by historical texts and artefacts, records that account for the same people and people groups, events and follow the same timeline, and the physical remainders of historical and biblical sites.

 “Obviously, the Bible didn’t just fall out of the sky. Nor did God write it Himself, dictate it or send it down to earth ready-printed in a black leather cover with the words of Jesus in red letters. So the questions of its origins are important and deserve careful answers” (page 71). Filled with fascinating information and answers, Can we still believe the Bible? becomes a journey for its reader. Whether agreeing or disagreeing at the outset, each reader will come to a place where they must stop and consider each thoughtful chapter and decide whether they believe.

Ball also investigates prophecy through Scripture, pointing out historical evidence that supports the Bible: the desolation of Babylon, the conquest of Tyre, the destruction of Jerusalem, the abasement of Egypt and the dispersion of the Jews. “If the Bible does contain genuine predictions about future events, it is evidence of the highest quality that the prophets speak with supernatural insight imparted by the God who alone knows the future . . . [and] more than a quarter of the Bible is predictive prophecy” (page 94).

And the questions-and answers- keep coming: “What about translation?” “Is it really inspired?” “Why does it matter to me?” Ball will not disappoint as he reaches through time, history, archaeology and Scripture to bring real, thoughtful and heartfelt answers to these very real and relevant questions of today. 

Thought provoking and meaningful, Can We Still Believe the Bible? is not a trivial answer book to slot on your shelf, but it is an insightful piece of evidence to share with a friend, study in a small group or refer to in your own journey with Christ. 

Can we still believe the Bible? is available at HopeShop