Johansen, Mark. No Errors in My Bible, Sorry About Yours. Monroe: Electric Tactics, 2010. 298 pp. $15.85. Purchase at Amazon for $14.26.
Mark Johansen is a software engineer who has developed computer systems for numerous and diverse organizations. He has written extensively in a variety of books and magazines on topics such as computers, criminology, economics, and civil rights.
No Errors in My Bible is Mark’s effort to deal with the ignorance of unbelievers thinking they have the ultimate trump card in proclaiming that “the Bible is full of errors.” To get an idea of who Mark is and how he is very serious about his faith while being fun loving about life, you need go no further than the dedication to his daughter whose “comments were often cruel but always helpful.”
This work is divided into nine chapters with numerous sub-chapters. He begins with a look a two-chapter look at science (specific and general) and moves on to the common criticisms of the inspiration and authorship of the Bible to the history and mathematics recorded therein. He concludes with a look at apparent internal contradictions and then a hodge-podge chapter tying up loose-ends.
Each chapter offers a general overview of the type of criticism and then narrows the focus to the specific criticism. For example, the chapter on mathematics (6) looks at the “error” in Matthew’s genealogy. He offers the criticism being leveled (not by anyone in particular, but a criticism nonetheless) and then a rational response showing that the criticism is unfounded or based upon ignorance.
No Errors in My Bible takes a different approach to apologetics in that it is part manual and part encyclopedia. Whereas most apologetic works begin with the refutations of a philosophical argument against Christianity or go book by book through the Bible showing how verse a does not contradict verse b, Mark allows the specific criticism leveled at the Bible to speak first. In so doing, this better relates to the reader real life situations. When you are in college or in the coffee shop, inevitably someone is going to throw out one of these charges thinking that you are now reeling on your heels and they have you cornered.
Mark equips the reader to not only be able to adequately respond, but to do so in a logical and concise manner. In many cases, the one offering the criticism will be shown to be ignorant of the facts or just parroting something they have heard in the past. For many, the Christian is the one who has given up on thinking, Mark shows in No Errors in My Bible that it is the unbeliever who fails to think critically. Mark’s answers prove to be solid both biblically and philosophically. Still, it must be noted that you cannot argue someone into the kingdom and must rely on the Holy Spirit even when debating or discussing these matters to bring about the change necessary for a salvific response to the message of the gospel that you are proclaiming.
There are numerous quality resources available in the area of apologetics and to recommend one above the other may do more harm than good. That being said, I am not familiar with a resource quite like Mark Johansen’s No Errors in My Bible, Sorry About Yours. This is a resource you will want on your shelf—especially if you are a young Christian heading off to college!—to read more than once and refer back to it again and again.
When someone hits you with a charge against Christianity that you do not know how to answer, you can let them know that you will give what they said some thought and get back to them. When you get home, you can check out Johansen’s response and then do some further research if you want on the Internet. The next time you talk with your friend or acquaintance, you will be better equipped to share the hope that you have.