The Most Dangerous Book on Your Shelf

I'm thrilled to share another guest post from Steve Green, and his wife Jackie. Steve is the President of Hobby Lobby, and the chairman of The Museum of the Bible, which just opened in Washington DC. We recently had the opportunity to preview the Museum of the Bible a week before it opened to the public, and it is breathtaking. I've read several books by Steve, and they are both on my personal favorite book list. Enjoy this article from his newest book: This Dangerous Book: How the Bible Has Shaped Our World and Why It Still Matters


Sometimes we forget how dangerous the Bible has been through history.

Many have given their lives in order for it to get into the hands of the common man. It has been banned, burned and spoken against, yet it lives on.

Today the Bible is still attacked. The attacks in America may not cost a person their life, but the attacks are real. They usually come in one of several forms. People argue that the Bible is not true or not good. We can’t provide evidence for all of the Bible, but time and time again the evidence has shown the Bible to be accurate. As the argument goes, an absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Or the second argument is that the Bible has been bad for society. The examples cited include the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and slavery. While there are these and plenty of other examples, you shouldn’t blame the Bible for man’s misuse of it.

Another argument that is used today is science. Supposedly, to believe in the Bible is to disbelieve science. We suspect that most do not know that it was a belief in the God of the Bible that led to much of the science we have today.

Then there are the outspoken atheists who have become very vocal in their atheism—some from their position as professors, some through media outlets, and some by writing books that have become bestsellers. These people have become very bold in espousing their faith, that there is no God.

Then there are those who, without having read the Bible, automatically reject any reference to the book. They attack and turn off those taking a position from or for the Bible.

While the rhetoric has become louder, Americans still have access to the Bible and can easily forget that the Bible is still being banned and burned in other parts of the world. In Burma, hostile government police forces “reportedly burned sixteen thousand Bibles printed in ethnic languages” in a single year. In North Korea, simply owning a Bible is enough to justify the owner’s execution. There are reports that a couple found reading the Bible in Iran were subject to torture and threatened that, were they found studying the Scriptures again, the authorities would take custody of their young daughter. The same words that decorate walls and lie on coffee tables in some countries are considered criminal in others.

The Bible is burned figuratively as well. It is demeaned and discredited on a daily basis in every country in the world. In efforts to discredit the Bible’s central figure, Jesus, and its message, opponents of God and the Bible believe that all they must do is demonstrate how rife the Bible is with contradiction and inconsistencies. It’s a credibility attack. The bold claims set forth in the Bible lose their credibility if it’s all based on contradiction. 

If skeptics don’t attack contradictions, they marginalize belief in God by pitting it against something like science or our own minds and hearts. 

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For "people of the book," like us, one approach to defending the Bible is simply following its message to love God and love others.

The apostle Peter, one of Jesus' closest friends and disciples, wrote this to first-century Christians: "If with heart and soul you're doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you're still better off. Don't give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you're living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy" (1 Peter 3:15 MSG)

In the New Testament, as we said earlier, Jesus spoke to his followers about opposition. He told them to expect it. And he was right. History as we've seen, fills up quickly with opposition to the Bible and its followers.

And yet the Bible continues to flourish, not only as a book read by billions of people but also as a guide for life in this world of ours. 

For those who embrace the Bible as their guidebook, it is hard to imagine how we would live without it. It's not uncommon to hear a Bible follower state something like, "I don't know how I would get through difficult times in life without it, and I'm thankful I don't have to." 

One might argue that the Bible has faced opposition through the years because of its bold claims. And yet it continues to maintain its high-record sales.

What other book can elicit such a following, such a response, such passion, such misunderstanding, such beautiful acts, such wonder?

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Steve & Jackie Green are co-founders of Museum of the Bible and authors of This Dangerous Book: How the Bible Has Shaped Our World and Why It Still Matters (Zondervan). Steve is President of Hobby Lobby, the largest privately owned arts and crafts retailer in the world. Steve and Jackie provide unique insight and commentary into the Bible’s role in our culture and in their personal life. Since 2009 they have been planning for the presentation of various archaeological finds pertaining to the Bible and the world’s most impressive display of materials relating to the Bible’s original writings, its preservation, and its distribution around the globe. 

This article was taken from This Dangerous Book by Steve & Jackie Green. Copyright © [2017] by Steve & Jackie Green. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com.