In assessing the character of God, Geisler was relying on the Bible. Having authored a book on the inerrancy of Scripture, Geisler's opinion of it is well known: he believes the Bible to be uniquely inspired by God and factual in all it teaches and touches upon. Still, is there any rational reason to believe that the Bible really does accurately reveal the truth about God?
George H. Smith, the atheistic philosopher, thinks not. "The Bible shows no traces whatsoever of supernatural influence," he said. "Quite the contrary, it is obviously the product of superstitious men who, at times, were willing to deceive if it would further their doctrines."19 Templeton cavalierly dismisses most of the Bible as being "embellished folk tales," adding that it is "no longer possible for an informed man or woman to believe that ... the Bible is either a reliable document ... or, as the Christian church insists, the infallible Word of God."20
During my years as an atheist, I mocked the fantastical tales and blatant mythology that I believed disqualified the Bible from being a divinely inspired book-an opinion, incidentally, that quite conveniently relieved me from any need to follow its moral dictates. Although I had never thoroughly studied its contents, I was quick to reject the Bible in order to free myself to live the kind of corrupt lifestyle that was blatantly at odds with its tenets.
My time with Geisler was a rare opportunity to hear first-hand why he draws the opposite conclusion and so zealously defends the Bible as being trustworthy. I stood to stretch my legs, walking over to a bookshelf and casually scanning the titles. Then I turned and said, "Everything hinges on whether the Bible is true. What's your basis for believing it is?"
With characteristic confidence, Geisler replied, "There's more evidence that the Bible is a reliable source than there is for any other book from the ancient world."
To me, however, that seemed more of a conclusion than evidence. "You're going to have to give me some facts to back that up," I said, sitting back down on the edge of my seat in anticipation of Geisler's response.
"There's lots of evidence I could talk about," he began. "I could talk about the Bible's unity-sixty-six books written in different literary styles by perhaps forty different authors with diverse backgrounds over fifteen hundred years, and yet the Bible amazingly unfolds one continuous drama with one central message. That points to the existence of the divine Mind that the writers claimed inspired them.
"And there's the Bible's transforming power-from the beginning, it has renewed people; given them hope, courage, purpose, wisdom, guidance, and power; and formed an anchor for their lives. While early Islam was spread by the sword, early Christianity spread by the Spirit, even while Christians were being killed by Roman swords.
"I believe the most convincing evidence falls into two categories, however. First, there's archaeological confirmation of its reliability, and, second, there's miraculous confirmation of its divine authority."
Was this article helpful?