Apologists and other salesmen

Daniel J. Berger (bergerd@bluffton.edu)
Wed, 30 Oct 1996 10:30:12 -0500

Glenn Morton wrote,

>If the Bible cannot be trusted on scientific matters, who will believe its
>reports about the Gospel?


>A few weeks ago I told an atheist why I believed it was important for early
>Genesis to be historically correct. I wrote:
>>GM>If the Bible is nothing
>>>but a nonhistorical set of nomad myths, which are objectively false, then
>>>why bother with christianity.

This stems from the fallacy of considering the Bible as a book rather than as a
library. There are all kinds of books in a library; if we find a book of
mythology in the library, does this mean that the history books are suspect?

Christianity is not founded on a literal interpretation of Genesis, it is
founded on the Resurrection. And there is much better evidence for the
Resurrection than for a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-5.

An example: I recently read a very good book, "The Origins of the Christian
Faith" by Terrance Callan. He carefully examines the New Testament, what little
else is known about the history of the 1st-Century Church, and the common
expectations of what the Christ would be and do at that time, and concludes that
only the Resurrection (which gave God's stamp of approval to Jesus in despite of
His rejection by the religious authorities) would have led His followers to
believe Him to be the Christ. Arguments like this seem to me to be the best
ones for Christianity, and an insistence on a literal interpretation of Genesis
IMHO does more harm than good. As evidence I present the answer of Glenn's
atheist correspondent:

>Since I have not yet received permission to quote him, I will paraphrase what
>he said. He wrote me back to the effect that this was a good summary of why
>he rejects Christianity as a false religion. Why should he believe something
>that we admit is not true?

Daniel J. Berger (419) 358-3379
Bluffton College
280 W. College Avenue bergerd@bluffton.edu
Bluffton OH 45817-1196