Friday, October 21, 2016

Hard Sayings: A Catholic Approach to Answering Bible Difficulties (Catholic Answers)

When it comes to Christianity, one of the most common complaints atheists, agnostics, and sometimes even Christians have is the Bible. People like to make claims that it contradicts itself, or that God is ruthless and bloodthirsty in the Old Testament. Trent Horn, in his latest book Hard Sayings: A Catholic Approach to Answering Bible Difficulties, takes a look at some of the toughest passages in Scripture. He then presents the Catholic perspective on them to help with understanding and acceptance.

The book begins with an introductory chapter on the Catholic view of Scripture. Such topics covered in this chapter include inspiration, canon, interpretation, and inerrancy. The remainder of the book is composed of 23 chapters divided into the following three sections - External Difficulties, Internal Difficulties, and Moral Difficulties. Such chapter titles include "Darwin Refutes Genesis?", "1001 Bible Contradictions"?, and "Bizarre Laws and Cruel Punishments?". Each chapter begins with a claim that people make against Christianity. One such example says, "A modern person cannot trust what is written in a two-thousand-year old book whose authors were illiterate shepherds who thought the earth was flat." Trent Horn then refutes the claim with clear, well-thought out arguments that easily dissolve the erroneous claim. The book then closes with 60 pages of endnotes, in case you want to dive even deeper into the arguments.

On its surface, the book looks to be intimidating. After all, it is a 400+ page hardcover book. However, the old adage about judging a book by its cover rings true here. The claims that Trent Horn refutes in his book are not scholarly arguments the average person would be unfamiliar with, but instead everyday arguments that you probably here from co-workers, friends, and maybe even family. What I really like about this book, is that you don't have to read it in order. Instead, find some arguments that you are used to hearing and read those chapters first. Then, take the time to work your way through the rest of the book at a steady pace. This is the type of book that belongs in every Catholic's home and parish library, and I cannot recommend it enough.

This book was provided to me for free by Catholic Answers in exchange for an honest review.