When I started seminary I entered into a depression during my first year. This was in part due to having a lot of my unquestioned (wrong) assumptions about the Bible be torn down. During my time there I learned about how we actually got our Bible by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit. I am more confident than ever that we do indeed have the word of God in the Bible. Yet it can be jarring when a Christian is confronted with the reality that the Bible didn’t just drop out of the sky. Questions of canon (which books are scripture) and text (which words are scripture) can be complex and overwhelming. As a pastor I am always looking for good resources to commend to the Christian church. Greg Lanier’s How We God the Bible is one is part of the Christian Focus Christian Pocket Guide series. As you might expect, it is very short (107 pages). The author said his goal was to write a book he could give to family member. It is not an apologetic book per se, but it does touch on key points where Christians are challenged on these issues.
The chapters are:
- A Divine Deposit
- OT Canon: Do We Have the Right Books?
- OT Text: Do We Have the Right Words?
- NT Canon: Do We Have the Right Books?
- NT Text: Do We Have the Right Words?
- Closing Thoughts
As you can see it gets right to the heart of the matter. Lanier is able to address the major points of canon and text as well as the major challenges to the Christian view of scripture. If you read this book you will be introduced to the process by which we came to receive our Bibles, current debates and challenges to issues of canon and text, as well as responses to these challenges. A notable feature is that the book deals both with the OT and the NT. Often you would have to buy a book on each!
The final chapter reveals the authors aim: he wants to instill confidence in the Christian who picks up their Bible that they do have the word of God in their hands. In my opinion he succeeds. I am happy to recommend this book to you. It will be one I give to others.