by Henry M. Morris & Martin E. Clark
The title of this book aptly describes the focus of the book. The author, Henry Morris, seeks biblical answers to many questions facing Christians today. The bible itself tells us in 2 Timothy that it is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” It is this fundamental truth that the author in the preface to his first edition points to as the purpose for this book. Further in the preface to the second edition he states, “The Bible does have the answer to every problem and need. It has been the authors’ purpose to find and to share these answers.” This is the fourth edition of this book. The first edition was written exclusively by Henry Morris, but all subsequent editions were co-authored with Martin Clark.
This book is on Apologetics. Apologetics is "the science and art of defending the faith." This book assists us in being equipped for the questions we may be asked about God, the inspiration of the bible or many other practical questions related to the doctrine we believe.
In the same way that the beautiful Heidelberg Catechism uses question and answers to teach us the depth of the gospel that we believe, so Henry Morris attempts to give us insight into the doctrine that we believe and applies it to our Christian life. This book contains 155 questions organised into sections beginning with the fundamentals of the doctrine of the bible such as the authenticity of the word of God, the fact of God, His Son and His work on the cross before applying that to various practical matters and the principles of the Christian life. He touches on science, other doctrines, the church, sin and forgiveness, the government, holidays and occultism just to name a few.
Let me highlight a number of parts of this book to give you a flavour of its content.
The first question of the book is an important one – How do we know the Bible is true? In his answer the author reviews a number of arguments of how this question can be answered. He begins with the Bible writers’ repeated claims to “transmitting the very Word of God, infallible and authoritative in the highest degree.” If the biblical evidences are examined, it becomes readily clear that the authors’ claims of inspiration are amply justified, for example the evidence of fulfilled prophecy particularly in relation to the first coming of Christ. He also looks at the historical accuracies of the bible as well as the documentation of many of the principles of modern science as facts of nature, e.g. the roundness of the earth (Isaiah 40:22), the law of conservation of mass and energy (II Peter 3:7), or the gravitational field (Job 26:7) as well as many others.
Question 3 asks: Is the bible authoritative when it deals with facts of history and science or only in matters of religion? Morris examines the views of those who doubt the facts of history and science portrayed in the Bible, who say that the Bible has authority in matters of religion only. He points to John 3:12 where Jesus says that “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” The point is clear – “if we cannot rely on the Bible when it speaks on matters of science and history, then how can we possibly trust it when it deals with matters of salvation, heaven, the spiritual world and eternal life, which are entirely beyond the reach of scientific observation and experimentation.”
Chapter 15 deals with personal spiritual problems and discusses issues such as the need for children of God to learn and exercise self-control. It also deals with depression and highlights how the Bible shows that the alternative to “guilty depression is a realisation of sin and a confident acceptance of God’s forgiveness.” He highlights that growth in faith does not come by experience but only through the hearing of God’s word as written in Romans 10.
Morris deals with many other practical matters including tithing (chapter 16), the practical implication of sin and forgiveness (chapter 18), societal problems and solutions, the Christian’s role in politics, occultism and more.
Morris is considered to be the “father of modern creationism” by some. He has written a number other books that have been widely read and can be recommended including “the Genesis Flood”.
You will find this book good reading if your intention is to read it from cover to cover. However it can also be used as a reference that can be pulled from the shelf to gain a better understanding on a practical Christian matter or question.
Review by R. Vermeulen