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When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties [Hardcover]

By Norman L. Geisler (Author) & Thomas Howe (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   624
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.38" Width: 6.42" Height: 2.06"
Weight:   2.42 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Aug 31, 1992
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
ISBN  0801011426  
EAN  9780801011429  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Learn how to defend the authority and inspiration of Scripture. Writing in a problem/solution format, the authors cover over eighty questions that critics and doubters raise about the Bible. Three extensive indexes--topical, Scripture, and unorthodox doctrines--offer quick and easy access to specific areas of interest. Hardcover.

Buy When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties by Norman L. Geisler & Thomas Howe from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780801011429 & 0801011426

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More About Norman L. Geisler & Thomas Howe

Norman L. Geisler Dr. Norman Geisler, PhD, is a prolific author, veteran professor, speaker, lecturer, traveler, philosopher, apologist, evangelist, and theologian. To those who ask, "Who is Norm Geisler?" some have suggested, "Well, imagine a cross between Thomas Aquinas and Billy Graham and you're not too far off."

Norm has authored/coauthored over 80 books and hundreds of articles. He has taught theology, philosophy, and apologetics on the college or graduate level for over 50 years. He has served as a professor at some of the finest Seminaries in the United States, including Trinity Evangelical Seminary, Dallas Seminary, and Southern Evangelical Seminary. He now lends his talents to Veritas Evangelical Seminary in Murrieta, California, as the Distinguished Professor of Apologetics.

Norman has been married for 57 years (as of 2013) to wife Barbara Jean, graduate of Fort Wayne Bible College (Taylor University) Dr. and Mrs. Geisler have six children, fifteen grandchildren, and three great grandchildren

SPANISH BIO: Norman Geisler (PhD, Loyola University) es presidente del Seminario Evangelico del Sur y autor de mas de cincuenta libros, entre los que se destacan Decide For Yourself, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics y When Skeptics Ask. Fue tambien coeditor de Is Your Church Ready? Un libro asociado a Quien creo a Dios?

Norman L. Geisler currently resides in Weddington, in the state of North Carolina.

Norman L. Geisler has published or released items in the following series...
  1. 10 Questions and Answers Pamphlets & Powerpoints

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Great Resource and Reference Book for Students of the Bible  Dec 18, 2006
This book addresses and provides concise solutions to just about every conceivable problem, apparent contradiction and supposed error in the Bible. The authors demonstrate the reliability and trustworthiness of the Bible by citing historical facts, quotes from ancient sources, archaeological discoveries, etc. I highly recommend that all serious Bible students have this on their shelf.
Preschool logic, ignores some of the most difficult texts  Sep 16, 2006
In the Preface, Geisler supports biblical inerrancy by stating that: "The Bible has withstood the criticisms of the greatest skeptics, agnostics, and atheists down through the centuries, and it is able to withstand the feeble efforts of unbelieving critics today." It's evident that this same exact argument can be made in support of the Koran. Either Geisler is ignorant of this or he uses the argument dishonestly.

Secondly, I was pleasantly surprised to see an argument in logical form. It's presented in the Intro as: 1. God cannot err. 2. The Bible is the word of God. 3. Therefore, the Bible cannot err. This argument is deductive so if the premises (1&2) are true, the conclusion (3) is necessarily true also. But how does Geisler show that the premises are true? In a classic case of circular reasoning, he appeals to what he's trying to prove as support for his premises. To the question: How do we know that God cannot err? Geisler tells us that the Bible tells us so! To the question: How do we know that the Bible is the word of God? Geisler tells us that the Bible tells us so!

So in actuality Geisler is proclaiming that The Bible cannot err because it says so! Geisler's 40 years of learning were apparently not enough for him to learn elementary logic. How stupid do you think your readers are Mr. Geisler?

Thirdly, he quotes St. Augustine favorably when it comes to dealing with difficulties in the Bible: "If we are perplexed by any apparent contradiction in Scripture, it is not allowable to say, the author of this book is mistaken; but either the manuscript is faulty, or the translation is wrong, or you have not understood." The skeptic or the critic can answer to this: If we think that we have identified an error in the arguments of the critics as written in book XYZ, it is not allowable to say, the author of this book is mistaken; but either the manuscript is faulty, or the translation is wrong, or you have not understood.

Fourthly, in one of the weirdest and most ludicrous explanations given by Geisler, one of the reasons he gives as justification for the slaughter of children in Jericho is that those children went to heaven so it was actually an act of mercy on God's part. I'd like to ask Geisler if he ever considered killing his own children to ensure that they go to heaven. I'm sorry to be so brutal but the stupidity of the argument calls for it.

Lastly, Geisler simply ignores some of the most difficult passages of the entire Bible. Some of these are: Exodus 21:7-11 where God explicitly grants fathers permission to sell their daughters into lifelong slavery, Exodus 21:17 where God orders the execution of children who curse their parents, Exodus 21:21 where God says that a slave is the "property" of the owner, Exodus 22:18-20 where God orders the execution of those who sacrifice to other gods. Apparently Religious Freedom was foreign to the God of Love, Numbers 15:32-36 where God orders the execution of a man for gathering firewood on the Sabbath, and Deuteronomy 21:10-14 where God gives Israelite soldiers permission to take female prisoners of war as "wives" and to discard them if they don't please well.

I give it 2 stars instead of 1 for attempting to answer some of the difficult questions.
Refreshing and englightening... a good read for Christian or Skeptic  Aug 29, 2006
Norman Geisler has once again done a fantastic job of defending the Bible as the inerrant word of God. Although, this book will definetly not convince most skeptics (not surprising considering nothing usually does) nonetheless it is and excellent resource for laymen to well-seasoned apologists alike.
In a very systematic fashion Geisler simply treats nearly all of the supposed "contradictions" in a head-on shoot from the hip manner. And while he doesn't claim to have all the answers, he generally offers very plasible explanations for supposed Bible contradictions and mistakes.
If one has ever been attacked by skeptics(as I have)and wasn't quite prepared to "give an answer" as the Bible commands, this book will be right up your alley. In fact, one of the most uplifting aspects of this book is that it demonstrates the near desperate tactics that critics take to discount the Biblical text. Being somewhat of an analytical thinker myself I understand the natural tendency to downgrade the supernatural and uplift 'natural"' thinking. So it was no surprise to me to find that the vast majority of the so-called contradictions listed in this book could easily have been resolved with a little more critical reading of the text. However, as I so often find, skeptics will INTENTIONALLY see mistakes simply because they are looking for a reason to disbeleive. I encourage you, if you are seeking and somewhat skeptical, this book will offer explanations for some tough Biblical texts in the Bible. If you are a flat-out critic I hope this book will urge you to rethink some of your previous beleifs.
For the rest of this review, I would like to respond to a couple of the general negative arguments I have read concerning this book. First, it seems abundantly clear that most of the skeptics simply from the tone of their review have already decided in their minds that Geislers explanations are wrong and that the Bible cannot be trusted. This is called an axiom and it is perfectly okay to have an axiom. However, an axiom must always be corroborated with strong evidence if it is to be held onto in light of plain reason. It is utterly foolish for a reviewer or skeptic to blast Geisler for holding to Biblical inerrany as an "a priori" commitment when the skeptics does the same with naturalism. Although, few admit this, it is abundantly clear that most skeptics have concluded that naturalism is a correct philosphy and therfore the Bible is not completely true or inspired by God. This is a perfectly valid assumption. Notice however, that the key word is assumption. Naturalism cannot be proven, and neither can Biblical inerrancy. However, what one can do is start with an assumption and see what assumption be fits the evidence. I would argue that the Bible's explantion of past present and future makes more logical sense than any other worldview. (read works by Francis Shaeffer if you want to learn more about the superiority of the Christian worldview).
Second, what most skeptics have blasted in reviews is a TINY sampling of Geislers explanations which they have found to be the least satisfying. If those critics intimidate you from buying this book I urge you to reconsider. Most of these skeptics are making unsound generalizations because their sampling is far too small. If one reads this book with an open mind I am convinced that one will find nearly all of Geislers explanations satisfactory. Not to mention I beleive one will note the absurdity of most of the critics claims. Which brings me to another point. Simply because not every explanation Geisler offers seems legitimate is not a reason to reject Biblical inerrancy.
The Bible is a large book, that covers a vast period of history and we as modern day Americans are not anywhere near the cultural context of the ancient middle-east. Therefore, it would be fairly audacious to presume that we would not find any Biblical text that is somewhat confusing and may on the surface seem contradictory to other parts of the Bible. In fact, the opposite is true. We should expect to find a small amount of Biblical texts that are troubling. If we didn't that would be a good reason to suggest that the text was edited so that it would look more complete. And what do we find? We find a small amount of Biblical texts that are troubling. And while yes, Geisler has listed over 800 texts, as I stated previously if one reads the book, one will find that most of the supposed contradictions exist in the overly active imagination of the critic rather than in the text itself. If one examines the text with an open mind and legitmately tries to understand the nature of the context and literary genres a in which the authors of each book wrote. Most of the "contractictions" dissapear.
All in all, this book is fantastic and I would encourage any Christian or skeptic to buy it.
A son of the King,

Good for believers to indulge in the illusion of "inerrancy" but the skeptics still unanswered  May 6, 2006
Norman Geisler is a prominent apologist which had written many theological and apologetic books. In this book, he tried to tackle considerable amount of problems that the critics of bible raised concerning the validity of the scripture. I was interested in this book because I had just brought McKinsey's Encyclopedia of biblical errancy and I would want to form a balanced view on the scripture. My general comment to Geisler's book is that this is good for believers to consolidate their faith by the "answers" or "solution" to these problems.

Geisler had also done mostly a great job in tackling the problems. That is the level expected for a theologian and apologist. However, some of the solution may not be convincing enough for the critics.

Take an example of the Jerico massacre in Joshua 6:21. Geisler argue the importance of the massacre (slaying of everyone including suckling infants) by explaining the Canaanite were "far from innocent". They are "defiled with every kind of abomination, including child sacrifice". As we know, child sacrifice is one of the ritual practiced by ancient pagan religion. They are surely not ethical. However, does it morally justify approve total extermination? How about slaying all Mormons, Buddists or Hindu to please your God? When faced with problem of slaying of infants, Geisler give the most outrageous explanation: "Given the cancerous state of society into which they are born, they had no chance of avoid it fatal pollution, 2) children who die before the age of accountability go to heaven (2 Sam. 12:23). This was an act of God's mercy to their soul to take them into His holy presence from such an unholy enviroment" even worst, the last explanation given as "God is soverign over life and can order its end according to His will and in view of the creature's ultimate good". Does it reasonable. According to his logic, we should kill all the babies after they are born because it is "an act of God's mkercy to their soul to take them into His holy presence from such an unholy environment". The bottom line of Geisler logic is "God is soverign, so we cannot question His justice or decision". Is this a plausible explanation that can confort the skeptics? I don't think so.

Some contradictions are not tackled. Example include the conflicting reference of the women that Jesus was talking to in Mattew 15:22 and Mark 7:26 (Mattew said that she was a Canaanite while Mark said that she was Greek). Surely he would not dare to tackle the point the the New American standard bible and New revised standard version wrongly translate the Greek word for "Greek" of the original text into "Gentile" in Mark's verse. Whether this translation is intentional to cover an alleged discrepancy is still speculative, but Geisler failed to give answer this interesting question.

Moreover, the Geisler is also not very kind to critics. He made a statement "The bible is without mistake, but the critics are not. All their allegation of error in the bible are based on some error of their own." This is already an unfair presupposition. When we want to examine a book as if it is errant, we should not assume that it is without mistake at first! This is violating the logical way of deduction. Surely the critics are not very happy to read this claim because you are also condemned erroneous when you raise doubt on the validity of scripture.

In general, this is a well-written book for reference. But as a skeptic christian, I don't think Gielser do a great job in supporting the doctrine of biblical inerrancy in this work.
Excellent Beginning Reference Work  Jul 14, 2004
I've used this book to teach a seeker's bible study. Most people seem to really appreciate the honesty. The cumulative effect of looking up entries is to realize how bible difficulties arise. This is as valuable as any particular entry. Some difficulties are treated more in-depth than others. Some can be thoroughly dealt with in a short entry, others solutions can only be gestured at. This book is not meant to be the end-all-be-all of bible difficulties but it is a comprehensive overview of Bible difficulties. At first, the size of the book might be discouraging: this is a big book. However, it becomes encouraging when you see how-time and time again-there are simple solutions or natural explanations for the Bible difficulties, it's just that it takes longer to explain a solution than it does to raise a problem. This should go next to his _Encyclopedia of Aplogetics_, _General Introduction to the Bible_, and _When Skeptics Ask_ on your reference shelf.

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