Fast Company didn’t intend to do this, but they really encouraged my faith last week.
In their article, “Infographic of the Day: What the Bible Got Wrong,” the writer of the article concludes this way:
So to anyone who thinks the Bible’s the last word on anything, remember this: It isn’t even the last word on itself.
Sam Harris, the atheist skeptic and writer of Letter to a Christian Nation among other books, commissioned the infographic that Fast Company posted. He hates the Bible and any notion about God.
But the conclusion he wants us to come to (and which the writer of the Fast Company article writes) isn’t exactly accurate.
Justin Taylor provides a helpful response on his blog:
I know what it’s like to be confused about, and bothered by, alleged contradictions in God’s Word. A good study Bible—e.g., the NIV Study Bible, now the ESV Study Bible—will intentionally address many of these issues.
“Alleged” is the right word – and we don’t need to be Ph.D.s to study these issues for ourselves!
But the answer I appreciated the most came from Matt Perman, a colleague with me at Desiring God:
However, the appearance of contradiction in many places in the Scriptures is there on purpose and by God’s design because this is the mark of any profound text and because it causes us to dig deeper, leading to far more profound insight.
God uses everything to make us dependent on him, including alleged contradictions in his word or difficult passages about his goodness in relation to suffering. By going deeper and asking for the help of the Holy Spirit, we get to see more of God and understand even more about his sovereign goodness over all things.
The real danger isn’t that arguments like this come up but that we so quickly give up! There’s a reason the Apostle Paul exhorts people to persevere!
Just a few days ago I wrote about how Satan hates our joy and seeks to cheapen it. Creating doubt in God’s word is just another one of those tools. Turning truth about actual events (like the miracles that Jesus performed) into allegories or fables is still another tool.
But, in the end, this is God’s word and God’s church and he will defend it. Attacks that draw us deeper into the word and make us lean harder on God for answers do exactly the opposite than what people like Sam Harris want – God looks even greater, the Bible is even more authoritative, and my confidence that God is who he says he is rises.
Which anchors my hope in God even more securely.
People in our churches understand suffering very well. For those of us dealing with disability, we know that circumstances can change in an instant. Dianne spent time with mothers on Saturday who’s children are living with much more difficult disabilities than we are.
It is a comfort to know and feel and experience that God is who he says he is. And anything, even attacks on his word, can be used by God to make much of him, for his glory and for our good.