Throughout history, Christians have been readers. And where the Christian gospel has spread, so has literacy. There are many reasons for that, first and foremost is that God has communicated to us through a Book, the Bible, and one of the main ways that we grow and mature as Christians is through reading, and studying the Bible. But Christians have also held the reading of books outside of the Bible as important to spiritual growth.
As a pastor, one of the commitments that I make towards my personal spiritual growth, but also in stewarding the position I have been given, is that I will read. I will read the Bible above all, but I will also read books that help me understand the Bible as well as how to apply the Bible to daily life. In addition, I will also read books that help me understand the world in which I am called to pastor.
But this is not only beneficial to those called to the role of pastor, but for all Christians to understand God and the world in which we are called to be His ambassadors.
With those things in mind, I will be posting "book blurbs" on the blog, recommending books to you that I have found helpful, and that I think would be helpful for you. And the first is a book I recently finished by Greg Gilbert called "Why Trust the Bible?"
For most Christians, the Bible is a source of strength, joy, and peace. But for most, if asked the question "why do you trust the Bible?" the best we could come up with "I just do." We are told to "always [be] prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you" (1 Pet 3:15) and it is towards that end that I recommend to you Greg Gilberts short, easy to read book, "Why Trust the Bible?"
In a little over a hundred pages Gilbert tackles many of the criticisms aimed at the Bible. Questions such as:
- "how can you trust a book that was written down so long after the events actually took place."
- "how can you trust a book that contradicts itself?"
- "how do you know that we have the right books?"
And many more. And Gilbert answers each of these questions thoroughly and thoughtfully, but in a way that the common Joe (and Jolene) can understand.
If the Bible really is what it says it is, and if reading the Bible really does what it says it does, then it is important for us to know that it can be trusted. And it is important for us to be able to communicate that to a world that is in desperate need of what the Bible points us to. And that is The Word of God, the Savior, Jesus Christ.
This book is one of three similar books that Gilbert has written, the other two are "What is the Gospel?" and "Who is Jesus?" All are published by Crossway and are put out by 9Marks, and I would recommend them to you. You can purchase all three of these books as a set on 9Marks site.