Friday, August 8, 2014

"Has God Spoken?" by Hank Hanegraaf: A Review

On a personal note, Has God Spoken? is the culmination of my life goal to provide seekers, skeptics, and saints alike with a memorable means by which to internalize answers to the three great apologetic issues of this or any other generation. These answers are ultimately foundational to life and living and to live after life. (xv)

Has God really spoken?  That the question raised by Bible answer man, Hank Hanegraaf, in his book Has God Spoken?: Proof of the Bible's Divine Inspiration.  Countless books like this since the rise of the Enlightenment's many attacks on the authority, inspiration, and inerrancy of Scripture have been written. Hanegraaf seeks to show the Divine origin of Scripture especially in light of some of its recent challengers.

The most mentioned enemy, what he refers to as the fundamental left (a term I like a lot), is Bart Ehrman who has made it his mission to discredit Christianity and the Scripture it holds dear.  Hanegraaf has listened to Ehrman's many arguments regarding textual criticism, slavery and homosexuality, and the supposed contradictions in the Bible and he finds them to be empty.  The author takes his time explaining to the reader what is at stake with each issue and how we are to understand them all with the purpose of showing that the Bible is credible, accurate, and ought to be considered divinely inspired.

I find it encouraging that a popular author like Hanegraaf is willing to discuss something as complicated as textual criticism.  When many are confronted with this challenge they get worried, but Hanegraaf shows that textual criticism hasn't been the critic we thought it would be. We can be certain that the Bible we hold in our hands is the words penned by its inspired authors. Likewise evidence from archeology, history, and other evidences are given as proof that Scripture is legitimate.

But he doesn't stop there. Much of the book is to help the reader read Scripture. There is a lengthy discussion on hermeneutics, what we mean by understanding Scripture literally, etc. that is really helpful for young believers.

Overall, this is a helpful book. Though long, the author seeks to present a case for Scripture and its credibility. There is an emphasis on the resurrection and its historical likelihood and how it gives credence to the Christian gospel.

Though there are parts that are over simplified (I'm not sure that Gilgimesh proves that Noah was an actual person or that the flood was universal) and incomplete (what about some of the more problematic "contradictions" beyond those found in the resurrection accounts), it is a helpful book.  One can tell that the author is being selective and not exhaustive.  He could have discussed more archeological evidence (the section on the Exodus here was really helpful), source criticism, and gone deeper into hermeneutics, but it is a helpful taste of why we should take Scripture seriously.

Clearly, Hanegraaf has done his homework and I would recommend this book.  It is not the best book on the subject and I'm not sure He has proven without a shadow of a doubt that Scripture is divinely inspired, but he has shown that such a conclusion should be taken more seriously.  Furthermore, he has exposed the empty arguments of people like Bart Ehrman and groups like the Jesus Seminar. And for that he should be praised.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I review for BookSneeze 

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