It has been my experience that more than a few people that at one time named Jesus as their Savior and Lord now attend no church, often speak openly about their problems with the Bible and are quite weak when it comes to a profession of faith in Jesus. There can be many reasons for this, but one that comes up again and again is their problem with the early chapters of Genesis: things like the creation account (in six days), the age of mankind, or the idea of a global flood in the days of Noah. Some extend their issues with the Bible even further into Genesis as one man, just this past week wrote, "The Abraham and Isaac thing is a deal breaker for me."
These responses to various stories or portions of the Bible are, of course, hardly new. More than a hundred years ago popular agnostic speakers such as Robert G. Ingersoll made a decent living giving lectures aimed at making the audience aware of "problems with the Bible."
I believe it is significant that when we come to the New Testament scriptures and to the person and work of Jesus Christ, the confession that brings salvation is a confession only regarding Jesus ("Jesus is Lord"). We are not told that a Christian must confess his or her belief that the creation days were each 24-hours in length, or that Noah's flood was global, or that Adam was created approximately 6,000 years ago. All these things, and many more, many Christians ardently believe and defend. But they are not presented as "deal breakers" in the path to salvation. Christians here and there have made them "deal breakers" and because of that, when rejected they have effectively forced those around them to either accept ALL of their understandings regarding the Bible or reject it all. And so many have ended up throwing the baby out with the bath water. This is truly regrettable. When C.S. Lewis came to faith in Christ, he credited, in part, the writings of George MacDonald, a late 19th century novelist. MacDonald was far from orthodox in his Christian beliefs, but he unwaveringly confessed his faith in Christ throughout his life. He would not fit in with most evangelicals today. Indeed, I doubt he would fit in at Burning Hearts. But he is a reminder that we need to keep our confession centered on the main thing, the main person – Christ – and not upon our understanding of any and every story or question raised by/in the Bible.
Are there answers to people's objections to the Bible? I believe so. And as time goes by the answers are getting better. But the "ace up our sleeve" in winning this unending debate with agnostics and former believers is not found in archeological discoveries (that substantiate the Bible) or in new theories of biogenesis (that support the idea of a Creator and Intelligent Design). The ace up our sleeve is a suffering Savior: Christ on the cross. For there we find meaning to our lives and salvation for our souls.