In the earlier days of the Restoration Movement, J. W. McGarvey wrote extensively to combat modernists who were attacking the integrity of the Bible. For example, McGarvey’s book Jesus & Jonah is a direct response to the modernistic attack to deny the miraculous intervention of God with Jonah. The modernist seeks to treat the text of Jonah as an allegory in order to claim it was more a work of fiction rather than fact. McGarvey pointed out that Jesus quoted the events as literal and even applied the encasement in the sea creature of Jonah with the encasement of His own body in the tomb (Matthew 12:38-41). Who will you believe--Jesus or the radical critic?
Sadly, there are those of among our brotherhood who have been influenced by such modernists. In October 2008 issue of The Christian Chronicle, there were two reviews of the soon to be released liberal/modernist “hit piece” on the Bible from ACU Press, The Transforming Word, by Editor-in-Chief, Mark Hamilton, Ph.D. In his review, Cecil May made the following observation about its treatment of Isaiah, “So the commentary says at least three authors over the course of three centuries wrote this long, prophetic book, though Jesus and the apostles quote from all parts of it and invariably ascribe its words to Isaiah.” Again, who knows best, Jesus or these radical critics? Make no mistake! This product from ACU is a direct attack on the integrity of the Scriptures. Here is a recommendation—do not buy this product from ACU! An even better recommendation—purchase Wayne Jackson’s book The Bible on Trial in order to protect yourself and the congregation from these assaults on the Bible. I had the pleasure of discussing his book with brother Jackson. He mentioned that the book is partly in response to this one volume commentary from ACU Press. However, there are few direct references to the ACU product in the book since it is broader in scope to include these attacks and others from an array of critics. By the time I finished reading brother Jackson’s book, I had the same feeling as when I have read J. W. McGarvey’s defense against the radical critics of his day--if the matter were not so serious it would be funny how they have twisted themselves into such a ridiculous state! I stand amazed at the Bible, woven-by-God, and its ability to withstand criticisms of its integrity from assaults unknown by its writers when directed by the Holy Spirit.
The Bible on Trial draws on brother Jackson’s excellent material in the Christian Courier plus it is supplemented by additional material he has recently written to make a stalwart defense of the Bible. The material is very enjoyable reading and includes quotations from luminaries of the past who served as presidents, judges, scientists, et al., who recognized the integrity of the Scriptures. Brother Jackson cites conservative writers outside of the brotherhood who have made similar investigations into the Bible. Also, brother Jackson cites the more prevalent works of radical critics so one can know their works as to guard against them. Brother Jackson states the purpose of The Bible on Trial as “The biblical documents are characterized by an amazing variety of evidences that authenticate the Book’s claim of divine origin. In this volume some of these proofs will be discussed. Too, theories and arguments of the Bible’s hostile critics will be addressed. Let infidelity put the Scriptures on trial. Let the prosecution attempt to make the case that the Old Book is a mere fraud. The defense will respond. The reader will be the jury, and the verdict will be reflected in the lives of those who judge the case. Ultimately, all will stand before the Great Judge and give account for their verdict!” (p. xv.)
Do not miss this vital book, The Bible on Trial. Purchase copies for your personal & church libraries, for your children & grandchildren, and begin a signup list for members of the congregation to purchase the book. Possibly the congregation may pay the freight expense as an extra incentive for members to purchase this book for themselves. Encourage lessons from this material to be preached from the pulpit and taught in classrooms. Do not miss this significant contribution by Wayne Jackson to fortify our faith from attacks without, and now sadly within, upon the Christian faith.
Originally printed West Virginia Christian, Vol. 16, No. 2, February 2009, p. 2. Reprinted by permission.