One of the most influential Christians in the last century who analyzed and compared Christianity with all the other worldviews of philosophy and other religions, was Francis Schaeffer. His books, The God Who Is There, Escape from Reason and He Is There and He is Not Silent, were influential in my own search for truth in religion. In his book of sermons, entitled, No Little People, he has made a relevant comment about the Bible.

“If someone asked us, “What is the Bible?” we probably would not begin our answer by saying, “The Bible is a realistic book.” Yet in the twentieth century this might be the best place to start—to stress the realism of the Bible in contrast to the romanticism which characterizes the twentieth century concept of religion. To most modern people, the truth is sought through some sort of leap from which we extract our own personal religious experiences.

“Many feel that the Bible should portray a romantic view of life, but the Bible is actually the most realistic book in the world. It does not glibly say, “God’s on his throne; all’s well with the world.” It faces the world’s dilemmas squarely. Yet unlike modern realism, which ends in despair, it has answers for the dilemmas. And unlike modern romanticism, its answers are not optimism without a sufficient base, not hope hung in a vacuum.

“So we would say at once, to twentieth century people: The Bible is a tough-fibered book.”

To this may be added the words of Professor Paul L. Maier, former Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University: “Most other biographies in the Greco-Roman world to that date are laced with fulsome flattery on their subject and lose much credibility. The Bible, on the other hand, is the one religious book in ancient literature which admits that its heroes are sinners too, and then provides a candid look at the sins.”

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