A Doubter’s Guide to the Bible – John Dickson

A Doubter's Guide to the Bible - John Dickson

QUICK HIT: John Dickson’s A Doubter’s Guide to the Bible is unique among the literature because it simply challenges a non-Christian to pick it up and be informed on what they’re debating against. By writing an overview of Christianity for non-Christians, Dickson has not only helped non-Christians with a resource that unbiasedly explains the faith but also helps Christians understand how to explain the faith in an informative and substantial way.

All too often, human beings see through the lens of their own experiences. If their upbringing is Christian, it can be difficult to see outside of that Christian context (Of course this is true! I was always taught that it’s true!). If their upbringing is secular, it can also be difficult to see outside of that context (Of course the Bible is false! I was always taught the Bible was false!). And, because of that, both sides of the issue give arguments based on lines of reasoning the other side cannot understand.

In A Doubter’s Guide to the Bible, Dr. John Dickson seeks to find some common ground. This short book is a simple primer that gives a basic, non-biased overview of Scripture. That’s not to say that it’s secular or unchristian—it’s wholeheartedly Christian—but it’s written in such as way as to avoid the debates of second-order doctrine that Christians so enthusiastically treat as of first importance.

To wit: when Dickson talks about Creation, he does so in the terms of “God created.” He does talk about the literary structure of Genesis and the various Christian interpretations of Genesis 1-2, but his emphasis is not on Old Earth or Young Earth, his emphasis is simply that God created.

Dickson also shies away from speaking Christianese, instead choosing his terms carefully to appeal most to doubters. He never frames his book in an argumentative, apologetics sense; instead, he focuses on simple, clear, and direct explanation of the message of Scripture and the historical and literary foundation of the spiritual claims.

Overall, Dickson’s book is unique among the literature because it simply challenges a non-Christian to pick it up and be informed on what they’re debating against. Most books of this nature are either apologetics or intended for a Christian audience. By writing an overview of Christianity for non-Christians, Dickson has not only helped non-Christians with a resource that unbiasedly explains the faith but also helps Christians understand how to explain the faith in an informative and substantial way.