The Embattled Bible Has the Last Word
The Bible is the world’s best-selling book—the British and Foreign Bible Society has estimated between five and seven billion copies sold. While the word bible simply means book, the Bible is a collection of “books”—histories, wisdom literature, poetry, psalms, prophecies, gospels, letters, and an apocalypse—written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek over a period of more than a thousand years by various authors.
Despite the variety of languages, genres, eras, cultures, and authors, it offers an overarching narrative. In “God’s Good Stuff” (p.12), Peter Biles reviews Rediscovering the Goodness of Creation, which he says “will renew your interest in experiencing the Bible as a coherent narrative, instead of as a body of disconnected books and scattered moral lessons.” He is onto something.
One thread of the Bible’s coherent narrative is its assertion that God is the Creator of the cosmos and everything therein. A second thread is that man is made in the image of God. The Bible uniquely among all religious texts of the world makes these claims, and they are crucial. Both threads—God as Creator, and man and woman as creatures made in his image—are central points of contention in the conflicts between traditional and “progressive” views of culture and society.
As George Hobson explains in his 2019 book Imago Dei: Man/Woman Created in the Image of God, “It is clear that if men and women are created beings, they are essentially dependent on their Creator, both for their existence and for their maintenance in being.” “Man (man and woman) is not his own author; he is not and cannot be autonomous.” This means that Man under God has obligations and responsibilities which are not acknowledged in our “do-your-own-thing” society.
The modern world rejects these biblical teachings, embracing instead materialist theories about man’s origins and moral responsibilities. This rejection of biblical truth provides an opening for the delusion that man can remake himself—and even change a male into a female, the topic of “Trans-Insubstantiation: Transgender Care & the Practice of Medicine” (p. 26).
The real-life consequences of embracing a Darwinian version of man versus the biblical one are on stark display in “The Nigerian Experiment” (p. 40), a chilling account of how viewing black Africans as less-evolved than white Europeans played out in one part of Nigeria, while another part was governed according to Christian principles.
Furthermore, that God created both male and female in his image explains why Christianity provides a “superior script for harmony between the sexes,” the topic of “Redeeming the Patriarchy” (p. 20), which discusses Nancy Pearcey’s important new book, The Toxic War on Masculinity: How Christianity Reconciles the Sexes.
The Truth that Sets Us Free
The widespread rejection of biblical doctrine has roots most recently in the so-called Enlightenment and its elevation of Man’s reason over faith and revelation. For more than 200 years the Bible has been subjected to a rationalistic analysis, which reads the texts as primarily products of “unenlightened” writers trying to make sense of a perilous world they did not understand.
For most of this period, the biblical narratives have been caricaturized as merely myth or legend. Consider the fall of Jericho recorded in the book of Joshua. Modern scholars had asserted that the story is a fabrication, that Jericho was destroyed well before Joshua arrived. However, “The Battle of Jericho: The Archaeological Evidence for Joshua’s Conquest” (p. 17) relates recent findings from archaeology that confirm the biblical account.
For 3,000 years, the Bible has withstood its challengers. There is no doctrine as powerful as the Imago Dei in affirming the dignity of every man, woman, and child on the planet. Dig deep into this revelation in Salvo and find confidence in the truth that sets us free.James M. Kushiner
is the executive editor of Salvo and the Director of Publications for the Fellowship of St. James.Get Salvo in your inbox! This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #67, Winter 2023 Copyright © 2024 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo67/the-superior-script