Author Drew Cordell looks at the most annoying mistakes Christians and non-Christians make when it comes to the Bible

Have you ever had a conversation with a Christian where you felt like they were living on a different planet? Have you also been frustrated in the aftermath that perhaps this person wasn’t the best representation of Christianity and maybe you’re the worse for it? Welcome to the all too regular experience that I have encountered as a Christian interacting with fellow Christians.

I have also had similar experiences with non-Christians. One is communicating with the other in the same language, but there is fundamentally a major presupposition that frequently gets in the way of fruitful dialogue between the two divergent groups.


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That presupposition, more often than not, revolves around the Bible. Many prominent Christians, in my experience, use very strong and dogmatic language in describing the Bible. These same Christians call the Bible “the word of God” and “the infallible truth”. Many non-Christians are triggered at such descriptions, and I can fully empathise with their frustration. 

Christians, both every-day and scholarly types, should be incredibly precise, specific and nuanced when it comes to describing a collection of texts that were written thousands of years ago. I’m frustrated to say that often, Christian’s descriptions can be misleading of the Bible’s character and origin.

That said, non-Christians are not immune from criticism either. All too often, I meet people who compare the Bible to Harry Potter and other comparable modern-day works of fiction. I get incredibly frustrated with this depiction. Both sides of the debate need to come closer together in pursuit of a more equitable middle-ground if there is to be progress here. 


There was a period in Western society, seemingly half a century ago, where both sides were closer together in respect of their views on the Bible. One could respect the Bible as a somewhat historical set of documents, while not believing that it taught that a human being violated the most inviolable law of life: death. 

This seems to have been an intellectual sweet spot of polite and respectful discourse between those who accepted and received the supposed work of Jesus Christ on the cross, and those who didn’t. 

I think society can return to this preferred disposition, and Christians and non-Christians can lead the charge here. We must endeavour to come to the Bible honestly, articulating what it is and what it isn’t. One cannot take intellectual shortcuts. One must do the critical thinking, the critical brain sweating, where one discounts their cultural, groupthink and upbringing biases in evaluating the Bible properly. 


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Let’s get serious

We are where we are. Whether we’re a Christian, atheist, or in between, we are all compelled to seriously reckon with the text that is the Bible. If we desire to be treated as a serious thinker in 2024 by the widest realm possible, this is one subject matter area which we cannot ignore. For the Christian and the non-Christian, I sincerely hope you take a thorough look.


Drew Cordell is a business consultant who has worked alongside some of the world’s most successful businesses and their leaders in an extensive corporate career in both London and Australia. His new book Honest Christianity: Why People Choose to Believe is available on Amazon and all good bookstores.