The last time I wrote a response to a section of apologetics anthology Who Made God?: 130 Arguments for the Christian Faith, I said that maybe the book would be more coherent in Sections Two and Three: “The Existence of God” and “The Scriptures: Their Origin, History, and Accuracy”. Surprise, surprise: I have been disappointed.
“The Existence of God” begins with an essay entitled “Can Religious Experience Show There is a God?” by R. Douglas Geivett. The fourth sentence reads, “In his old age, childless Abram is promised by the Lord he will yet have a host of ancestors, and his wife, Sarah, will bear a son who becomes the patriarch of a new nation (Gn 12,28).”
I don’t know if I missed any in the first section, but what I read this week was absolutely riddled with typos, from God promising Abram ancestors, to numerous other grammatical mistakes and inconsistencies that were very telling about the production and intent of this book.
The lack of a dedicated or trained editor is a huge hint to the fact that this book was thrown together in a hurry, and the publisher was trying to cram as many essays together in as short a time as possible. This was easy to do with an anthology because many essays could have been written concurrently, and the publisher didn’t have to wait for one man to write an entire book.
The Gish gallop nature of this book is also seen in its contents as a whole. Specifically, Section Three on the Scriptures was drawn out forever. I found it strange to be bored during a book like this, though, because it contains 130 essays within 205 pages. Anyone would expect it to be fast paced and pack a punch for the unsuspecting nonbeliever. But especially in the section on Scripture, it was twenty essays by different people, all saying the exact same thing. This was especially dry because biblical history is not my area of interest or expertise by a long stretch. So even if an apologist made what sounded like a good point, I figured that some obscure detail about whether this or that king of Somalia reigned for two or three years wasn’t going to be what convinced me in the end anyways.
The chapters in this section are:
“Who wrote the Pentateuch and when was it written?”
“Has the Bible been accurately copied down through the centuries?”
“Can Biblical chronology be trusted?”
“How can we know the Bible includes the correct books?”
“Does the New Testament misquote the Old Testament?”
“Does the Bible contain errors?”
“Is the New Testament trustworthy?”
“Has historical criticism proved the Bible false?”
“What about ‘gospels’ not in our New Testament?”
“Could the gospel writers withstand the scrutiny of a lawyer?”
“Aren’t the gospels the product of Greek thinking?”
“Origins of the gospel: Human ideas or divine revelation?”
“Isn’t that just your interpretation?”
“Numbers in the Bible”
“The chronology of the kings of Israel and Judah”
“Are the Biblical genealogies reliable?”
“Did those places really exist?”
“Is the Old Testament Trustworthy?”
“How has archaeology corroborated the Bible?”
“Did the apostles report Jesus’ words accurately?”
As you can see, there’s a lot of repetition, and typically about topics that I personally don’t ask a lot to begin with. It’s so clear that the authors wanted to make this book seem more powerful than it really is, doing whatever they had to do to be able to say that there were 130 arguments for the Christian faith when there weren’t.