For one thing, unexplained coincidences occur between Acts and several of Paul’s epistles. In certain cases, liberal scholars have questioned their authenticity, but the coincidences highlighted by McGrew furnish additional grounds for confidence.
Also, the unexplained coincidences McGrew cites are valuable simply for increasing one’s understanding of Scripture. Why did Paul tell the Thessalonians that they knew about his shameful treatment at Philippi? Why did Jesus wash the disciples’ feet at a particular time? The answers to these questions and others become clear through McGrew’s careful analysis.
Hidden in Plain View is a must-read for Christians interested in defending their faith. I have no intention of abandoning the minimal facts approach on occasions when I am asked for a defense of the resurrection. But I will certainly incorporate another layer of argument to that case, stressing the accuracy of the texts themselves. McGrew has done the church a valuable service in drawing attention back to the argument from undesigned coincidences.
Jonathan Ashbach is a PhD student in politics at Hillsdale College.