Monday, February 15, 2016
Book Review: JESUS ON TRIAL, by David Limbaugh
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;"
1 Peter 3:15
The truth of the Gospel is central to it's appeal. To provide Eternal Life, the Bible must be grounded in reality and truth. In Jesus on Trial, David Limbaugh uses his personal testimony as the backdrop for a survey course in Christian apologetics.
Limbaugh is an adult convert to Christianity whose salvation journey was a very intellectual path. A skeptic for many years, his personal testimony by his exploration of the most difficult issues surrounding the veracity of scripture. An online review will never do a book like this justice, but we'll hit some points that stood out to us.
For Limbaugh, the Unity of Scripture was a major breakthrough proving the divine origins of the Bible. As Limbaugh explains: "the Bible maintains a unified, continuous, message across it's sixty-six books, which were written over some 1,500 years by about forty authors. If you read it enough, you can't help but notice it has the same voice of authority throughout" (150). We'd always give that point intellectual lip services, but until Limbaugh's book we'd never appreciated it's magnitude. As just one example, Leviticus and the Gospel of John we're written on opposite ends of that 1500 year timeline, yet they reveal the same attributes of God. It would be difficult, to put it mildly, for humans to write something like that on their own. It's nothing, however, for an Omnipotent God.
Another point Limbaugh makes, which resonates with our own testimony, is that the number of prophecies fulfilled in Jesus cannot plausibly be explained any other way. For example, Micah predicted the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, which happened in Matthew. Also in Matthew, the Genealogies show how Jesus was a decedent of both Abraham and David, so He fulfills both covenants. The list of prophecies and their fulfillment related to Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection needs to be seen to be appreciated (197/8). And keep in mind, the prophecies related to Jesus' death were delivered hundreds of years before crucifixion was invented.
Another proof we're blessed with today that wasn't always available is modern archaeology. This proves as a fact certain Biblical claims which had previously been statements that had to be taken on Faith. For example, the location of Sodom and Gomorrah was only discovered in 1973 (252). In 1990, the bones of Caiphas were found (247). Over the past couple hundred years, archaeology has proven the historical accuracy of hundreds of old and dozens of new testament events.
The chapter on science's compatibility with scripture was especially illuminating. The second law of thermodynamics, entropy, proves the universe isn't eternal, which means there had to be a specific moment of creation. Furthermore, "irreducibly complex machines cannot be produced by the slight incremental changes postulated by Darwin's theory of evolution. Any protosystem that lacks even one of the parts that contributes to 'basic function' would be nonfunctional, thus preventing natural selection from operating on it to produce an improved form. In other words, irreducibly complex systems, and thus biochemical systems, must be produced all at once" (301). GAME, SET, MATCH: GENESIS!!!
Jesus on Trial, by David Limbaugh, is a comprehensive survey course in why the Bible is true. It doesn't go into tremendous detail, but it covers a lot of ground and hits all the basics. If you're skeptical but open to discussion or a Christian looking to dive deeper into your Faith, Limbaugh's book is well worth your time.