What about the author’s agenda?..

Religious skeptics believe that books like this one can’t be trusted for objective information because such books are written by religious people who have an agenda. In fact, that’s the way skeptics view the Bible—it’s a biased book written by biased people. Their assessment may be true for some books about religion, but it’s not true for them all. If it were, you couldn’t trust anything you read concerning religion—including books written by atheists or skeptics— because every writer has a viewpoint on religion.

So what does this mean to you, the reader? Should you disbelieve what an atheist writes about Christianity just because he’s an atheist? Not necessarily, because he could be telling the truth. Should you disbelieve what a Christian writes about atheism just because he’s a Christian? Again, not necessarily—he too could be telling the truth.

But what about an author’s agenda? Does an agenda fatally taint his objectivity? If so, no book is objective, including those by atheists and skeptics. Why? Because all books are written for a reason, all authors have an agenda, and all (or at least most) authors believe what they write! However, that doesn’t mean what they write is false or not objective. While authors are almost never neutral about their topics (personal interest is what drives them), they nevertheless can present their topics objectively.

For example, survivors of the Holocaust who wrote of their experiences certainly were not neutral bystanders. They believed passionately that the Nazis were wrong, and they were driven to record their experiences so the world would never forget the Holocaust and, hopefully, never repeat it. Did their passion or their agenda cause them to bend the facts? Not necessarily. In fact, their passion may have produced the opposite effect. While passion may induce some people to exaggerate, it may drive others to be all the more meticulous and accurate so as not to compromise the credibility of the message they wish to communicate.

As you’ll see, we think the authors of the Bible took this meticulous and accurate road. It’s also the road we’re trying to take in this book. (And when you’re done reading, we hope you’ll let us know if you think we’ve actually taken that road.)

In the meantime, if you’re a skeptic, please keep in mind that you should believe or disbelieve what we say because of the evidence we present, not because we have a certain set of religious beliefs. We are both Christians, but we were not always Christians. We came to believe through evidence. So, the fact that we are Christians is not the issue: why we are Christians is the important point. And that’s the focus of this book.

Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, from I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, Preface

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