Truth Matters, by Kostenberger, Bock & Chatrow

 Fighting Bart Ehrman’s Flood of Skeptism


Meet Bart Ehrman, NY Times best-selling author of  a run of books written to point out the flaws, weaknesses and inherent failures of Christianity.

As professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bart knows his stuff. He particularly knows, by his own admission, how to take apart the fluffy, cloistered faith of 19-year olds whose ideas about God have never been reasoned through. The simple, sing-a-song-on-Sunday-morning kind of faith Christian teens often live by is no match for Bart’s learned and well-formulated insights on textual criticism, the historical Jesus, how the NT developed, and the like.

And here’s the thing: his books, tours, televised debates and star-status presence is permeating colleges, schools and lecture halls world-wide. His ideas are in. And according to himself and those in his coterie, every honest scholar agrees with his findings. Yep, that’s his claim.

Why it Matters

Every now and then academia throws up a tour de force, some bright luminary under whose spell the world seems to bow. Now it’s Bart Ehrman’s turn. People – young people – and influencers are buying into his skepticism by the book load.

The problem is that our teens and college students are not generally equipped by churches to reason through their faith in a way that can grapple with Bart’s premises. They’re easy pickings at any college where some atheist lecturer – fueled by Bart’s fire – feels called to enlighten them. Right now, in our times, schools and colleges are the war zone and Bart is leading the charge against Scriptural integrity.

Help at Hand

Enter Drs Darrell Bock, Josh Chatraw and Andreas Kõstenberger with a nifty little book called TRUTH Matters – Confident Faith in a Confusing World. The fight is on. And, I’m glad to say, Bart Ehrman’s confident arguments turn out not the final word he claims them to be.

Tackling his main premises in short, punchy, youth-friendly style, these three authors show the flaws, suppositions and problems with Bart’s approach to the classic problems:

  • why is there suffering and does God care?
  • is the Bible really inspired by God?
  • what about contradictions in the Bible?
  • who put the Bible together?
  • how do we know Jesus rose from the dead?

This is extremely helpful, timely reading designed to give your teens and college-goers reasons for their faith. Tools for tackling Bart’s arrows. They show in quick strokes that Bart’s interpretations are selective and actually conceal a lot more than they reveal. Sort of like a tour guide choosing what antiquities they’ll show you, and want they choose to ignore.

TRUTH Matters is relevant, highly-readable and utterly necessary. It’s sized to fit snugly into a jacket pocket or shoulder bag. I strongly advise you to get hold of some copies and give them to Christian youngsters you know who need tools to hold onto their faith. Or for anyone with questions about the reliability of Christianity.  Listen to comments from a few of the many scholars who’ve welcomed it:

“Truth Matters should be on every college freshsman’s reading list… the book’s rich content makes it an excellent resource for adults of all ages” – L.H. Cohick, professor of NT, Wheaton

“This is a very timely book… In a fashion that is both scholarly and accessible, the authors have provided a tremendous resource for the church.” – Michael J. Kruger, president Reformed Theological Seminary

“… a godsend, a clear and accessible resource for equipping Christian students to survive – and thrive – in our increasingly skeptical culture.” – Craig A. Smith, adjunct professor of NT, Denver Seminary

To coincide with Dr Darrell Bock’s lecture visit to the website.

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Reviewed by Grant Griffiths
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