Outline - Bishop Butler - The Analogy of Religion (PDF)


Bishop Butler's Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed (1736) was an important work of Christian apologetics. The deists of his century had argued, "Scripture is filled with nothing but problems! The 'Book of Nature' contains every doctrine that Scripture teaches, but it is founded on science are not on a book of fables, a book filled with contradictions and gross moral errors!"

Butler took this on with his Analogy of Religion. The "analogy" of which he spoke was the one between the so-called "two books of revelation": The book of Nature and the book of Scripture.

Butler made use of probabilistic reasoning and argued, "You think there are no problems with revelation from the 'Book of Nature' as compared with that in the 'Book of Scripture?' No so at all! If you imagine that the Book of Nature is clear, lucid, absent of problems, you are just not thinking well! Any problems you find in Holy Scripture are minor when compared with the problems in what the Book of Nature tells you!"

If you are able to make sense out of the Book of Nature, you will, if you think clearly about the matter, have no greater problems in the case of the Book of Scripture - and probably many fewer! You would do well to bring to bear all of your rationality and your scientific training on this Analogy and the probabilistic reasoning it affords. It will provide solid grounds for you to reconsider orthodox Christianity as true. The Author of the "Book of Nature" is none other than the Author of the "Book of Scripture!"

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