Christian Book Reviews, Author Interviews, Excerpts

Christians Should Have Answers for Critics, Author Says

  • 2004 28 Feb
Christians Should Have Answers for Critics, Author Says

The president of Southern Evangelical Seminary says too many Christians are ill equipped to defend their faith to skeptics.

In his book, "When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook On Bible Difficulties" (Baker, 1992), Dr. Norman Geisler offers insights into many areas of the Bible that have been regarded as complex or problematic. He says all too often, Christians are unable to answer skeptics who challenge them on such biblical difficulties.

Geisler emphasizes the importance of Christians having knowledge as well as faith. Citing 1 Peter 3:15, he notes, "The Bible commands us to give an answer to everyone who asks a reason for the hope that's in us ... and the Bible also commands us in Colossians 4:6 to 'Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.'  So we're commanded to give an answer to everyone."

"When Critics Ask," co-authored by biblical and philosophical hermeneutics expert Dr. Thomas Howe, covers more than 800 questions that Geisler says are commonly brought up by skeptics. Among these, he says one of the most frequently asked questions has to do with Cain's marriage.

According to the author and educator, many people want to know how it is that Cain took a wife when they understand the Bible to say that Adam had only two children – Abel, who was murdered, and Cain, who went into exile. Where, people ask, did Cain's wife come from?

Geisler says the Bible provides the key. "The answer is in Genesis 5 where it says that Adam had many sons and daughters," he explains. "In fact, Adam lived 800 years after he started having children. Now you can have a lot of kids in 800 years."

Geisler, who also co-authored "When Skeptics Ask: A Handbook of Christian Evidence" (Baker, 1995), has written or contributed to more than 50 books and hundreds of scholarly articles. The seminary president has taught at the university and graduate level for 43 years and has spoken all over the U.S. as well as in 25 other countries around the world.

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