Robert G. Witty has written a book on apologetics entitled, The Bible – Fact or Fiction. In this book, like a typical apologist, he attempted to defend the Christian faith and the Bible. His elaborations though are not done with typical approach apologists would have done it. In the first three chapters, he labored to leave behind the common arguments for the existence of God that most Christians employ, and then the remaining chapters (the book actually is 19 chapters long) dwell on the Bible’s defense of itself.
Chapter one introduces the reader to the book which intents on proving the claim that the Bible is a factual book and indeed, God inspired. In chapter two, the author makes a point of the ineffectiveness of the Christian’s personal testimony to validate the factuality of the Christian faith in general. This inner spiritual experience of the Christian, though maybe true and good, is not enough to provide a tangible proof to convince the skeptic of the validity of the claim. This “inner witness” is good and useful only for the Christian’s encouragement to remain in the faith.
It’s a good source of comfort to him and to others with like faith, and probably a “contagion” to some non-believers. Personal inner witness of the Spirit is sufficient to uphold the Christian, but not to convince the skeptic (Witty, 2001). Witty moved on to chapter three where he yet worked to make a point about the insufficiency of “intellectual arguments” to prove in tangible terms the existence of God. The commonly accepted arguments for the existence of God – cosmological, the teleological, the anthropological, and the ontological – are all cited as useful only to some extent, but not adequate to provide concrete evidence for a cynic.
Even among Christians, these intellectual arguments are just as that, “intellectual,” to rule out these particular aspects of the intellect. After settling these issues, Dr. Robert G. Witty proceeded with his main argument in the remaining chapters that the Bible “alone” is enough evidence for itself that it is the Word of God, and it is a tangible proof satisfactory enough to win over a critic if he is only open and honest to probe the Bible’s witness.
The author appealed for “reasonable grounds” or fair criteria for judging the Bible whether it indeed passes for being the Word of God as claimed by its adherents or not. Fair judgment is not based on prejudice. The Bible must be judged of its quality like any other literary works. Basing one’s judgment on deliberate ignorance, nor unsubstantiated accusations is not the right and an objective way of introducing the Bible to its readers. I agree totally with the author when he said that the Bible is being rejected by some for reasons which are baseless and mostly coming from prejudiced minds.
For example, it is true that some refuse to accept the teachings of the Bible outrightly because it addresses certain issues which are morally opposed to their lifestyles. Witty said it is unfair to dismiss the Bible on these terms alone. “Judge the Bible with facts,” the author would challenge its critics in chapter four. Why not evaluate the Bible’s contents with the same measurements that secular or non-religious books are gauged? How can critics do this when for so long a time they have been criticizing the Bible?
Well, the suggestion of the author for the critics is for them to, at least, temporarily set aside their prejudices, to turn aside from their pre-conceived traditional ideas, and to shrug off certain judgments made by influential people, whether they be friends or foes of the Bible. Certainly, it will help anybody draw a fair conclusion regarding the Bible’s claims if only premature or mentally established opinions are dropped for the time being.
Of course, if this attitude is achieved, only honesty which depends on irrefutable facts remains. All throughout the book, Robert G. Witty asserts his “discovery” that the Bible all in it is a valid proof; it need not depend on outside help for validation, although he would employ and incorporated in the book certain testimonies of known Christian scholars and apologists to buttress his thesis. Since the Bible in and of itself is “tangible” and its claims are here available for open investigation, it is enough to authenticate its claims.
Courtney from Study Moose
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