1. What is a good resource for learning more about Calvinism and how to refute it.

2. How do you best defend the Word of God with someone who says “the Bible is not perfect.”  We obviously know of a few clerical errors but he uses those mistakes and others to justify his own lack of conviction about the Bible.


There are two truly amazing books which you can use as a resource on Calvinism

1. Live in the Son by Robert Shank    (a former Calvinist scholar who is still a Baptist, so he is well-qualified to know how they think)

2. Troubling Questions for Calvinists   by F. Legard Smith   (a mainline Church of Christ scholar who hits the nail on the head)

As for your second question, most who say this are not fully sincere in their position and simply want to argue.   In this case, no amount of evidence or appeal to reason will work.   However, for the sincere person who questions the inspiration of the Bible (a minority, but a significant minority), I would argue, based on the evidence, that the preponderance of the evidence leads any rational person to conclude that the Bible is inspired.   The evidence for this includes, but is by no means limited to the following:

1. Fulfilled messianic prophecies.

2. Evidence that Jesus worked miracles and was resurrected.

3. Consistency of Jesus’ claims about himself and his character.

3. Historical accuracy of the Bible.

4. Scientific wisdom in the Bible.

5. Lack of contradiction, despite dozens of authors.

6. The fact that it works. The Christian world view is the only world view which correctly explains reality and which works in the sense that it leads to a better, happier, more fulfilled person.

Any open minded person HAS to be impressed with Daniel’s prophecies, with the life of Jesus and his claims, with the facts behind belief in the resurrection, with the radical historical reliability of the Bible.

Can I PROVE that ALL of the scripture is inspired?   No I cannot.  But if we can establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Daniel, Isaiah 53, Psalms 22, all those types, prefigures and foreshadows, etc. are inspired, then the most reasonable inference is that Esther 3:14 is also inspired, even though I cannot give any direct evidence of the inspiration of that particular verse.   My argument for inspiration of the entire scripture is based on most reasonable inference from the data.  The evidence for consistency and lack of contradiction entitles a reasonable person to give the Bible the benefit of the doubt in areas where proof is unobtainable.   A God who inspired whole sections of the Bible we can reasonable infer would see to the inspiration of all scripture.

John Oakes


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