Cultural Encounters: A Journal For The Theology Of Culture Volume 11 Number 2 (Summer 2016) - Page 113

VOLUME 11 NUMBER 2 2016 “THE BATTLE OF THE BIBLE” CONTINUED Can We Still Believe the Bible? An Evangelical Engagement with Contemporary Questions By Craig Blomberg, Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2014, 304 pp. $19.99 paper. In Defense of the Bible: A Comprehensive Apologetic for the Authority of Scripture By Steven B. Cowan and Terry L. Wilder, eds. Nashville, TN.: B&H Academic, 2013, 490 pp. $34.99 paper. If anyone thinks that the so-called “Battle of the Bible” is over, they have not been paying close attention to the resurgence of recent publications concerning the credibility of Scripture, ranging from the steady stream of books written by Bart Ehrman endorsing a strong skepticism of the Bible to the more friendly criticisms of biblical inerrancy by the likes of Peter Enn’s The Bible Tells Me So and Christian Smith’s The Bible Made Impossible. While many of these more recent works are directed primarily toward Evangelical beliefs and attitudes toward Scripture, such criticisms reflect a broader cynicism in our culture about truth in general and in particular, the truthfulness of Scripture. These cultural and literary trends underscore the need for Evangelical Christians to think more deeply and carefully about how we view truth in relation to Scripture and what confidence we can attribute to Scripture itself. Two recent books represent thoughtful and well-reasoned Evangelical responses to such current challenges surrounding biblical veracity. Craig Blomberg’s Can We Still Believe in the Bible? and In Defense of the Bible edited by Steven Cowan and Terry Wilder offer substantive responses to many of the popular as well as academic questions surrounding the truthfulness and trustworthiness of Scripture. Both of these volumes address the contemporary challenges with a detailed analysis and defense that will simultaneously stretch and encourage the reader (especially for readers not well-versed in the academic disputes surrounding biblical reliability). Interestingly, each book takes a slightly different tack in initiating the reader into the world of biblical scholarship, a context which can be both encouraging and intimidating. Craig Blomberg, a New Testament scholar who has previously written two of the definitive defenses of the Gospels (The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, 2nd ed., IVP, 2007) and the Gospel of John specifically (The Historical Reliability of the Gospel of John, IVP, 2001), expands his examination and defense of biblical reliability in Can We Still Believe the DOI: 110