Originally delivered as a series of lectures, The Bible in a Disenchanted Age: The Enduring Possibility of Christian Faith is “interested in giving an account of the processes that are regularly at work if and when people do come to have faith and to trust what they read in the Bible. In other words, I am concerned not only with the why but also with the how in relation to faith and the Bible.”  This is often done by first establishing the historical reliability of Scripture. From there, one argues for the theological reliability of Scripture. Moberly, instead, proposes “the desirability of taking a journey of biblical exploration in the company of people both past and present whom one has good reason to trust.” 
The purpose, then, is apologetic. The ethos is a certain form of postmodernism. The goal is to give a trust-based approach that leads to seeing Scripture as God’s word.
The problem is that our cultural ethos is very different from those before us. Science has taught us that the universe is vast beyond comprehension and the earth is not in the center. Increased historical and archaeological learning has given us a sprawling human history that tends to unseat the centrality of the Bible’s depiction. These combine with philosophical shifts like moving from seeing meaning within the world to imposing meaning upon the world.
The main head, though, is Benjamin Jowett’s famous essay that argues that we should interpret Scripture as any other book. For many, this is a certainty. At the time, however, Jowett’s essay was extremely controversial. Here Moberly argues that Jowett and his followers have typically attended this assertion with the idea that the Bible is not like any other book in other ways. It is the Bible’s difference that has often been suppressed in these discussions. In many ways, Jowett and his followers were simply emphasizing one part of a whole truth. It was a part that needed emphasizing and has made great gains, but in balancing the truth, an inch makes all of the difference.
Thus, in the current environment where the Bible is treated simply as any other book, Moberly focuses on how the Bible is not like any other book.  If the Bible is not like any other book, then what is the upshot? And how can Christians defend this view?
Into the Maze
Moberly distinguishes three ways of reading the Bible: (1) as history, (2) as classic, and (3) as Scripture. The first two are taken up in chapter two. The Bible as history is relatively straightforward. The biblical text is used along with other sources as a source of historical information. These are all synthesized in order to arrive at a greater knowledge of the ancient world. The Bible is also seen as a work that took place in history, with various theories of origins, meanings, and understandings pursued. This approach is often deemed the historical-critical approach. Moberly sees great gain in all of this.
The Bible as classic has many components that are also worth pursuing. This approach sees the Bible as a cultural source, a source of a continuing reception history, and as cultural heritage. Here Moberly also includes the Bible as a classic on the human condition. Again, all of this is worthwhile and can lead to great gain. These first two approaches have been the main emphasis of recent centuries. But this is only to set the stage for the third approach: the Bible as Scripture.
Everyone privileges certain things for making sense of life. A famous example is when some great tragedy makes a person view the world (including the existence and nature of God) completely differently. Clearly this person has accepted the same sort of tragedies as being compatible with the existence of God, since the tragedy happens so often all over the world. Yet when the tragedy comes home to roost, it is privileged and is used as a filter for making sense of life. Moberly argues that the privileging of the Bible and of Jesus for understanding God is not in principle different.
This is tied into a discussion of plausibility structures. The concept of plausibility structures observes that what a person is likely to accept as true is influenced by their social and cultural contexts. A prominent example from Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann is the social nature of knowledge: what one is likely to accept as true is hugely influenced by the views of significant others in one’s life. One sees this in Augustine’s famous line, “In fact I would not believe the gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me.”
Leslie Newbigin brought this into the contemporary conversation by highlighting the importance of the church in this respect. This is why the existence and practice of the church is so important. As Moberly says, “The biblical portrayal of human nature and destiny will present itself to consciousness as reality only to the extent that its appropriate plausibility structure, the Christian church in its many forms, is kept in existence.” 
It is through the church and plausibility structures that Moberly makes his connection to coming to faith by trusting others. “The Bible is likely to be recognized as the privileged witness to God and the world only insofar as living Christian witness attests at least somewhat persuasively to the truth of biblical content. The role of significant others and plausibility structures indicates the importance of trust and forming relationships with other people as the corollary of coming to a point where one may being to believe the content of the Bible and to believe in God through Jesus.”  It is through the church that the privieleging of certain texts, canonical Scripture, comes to be. This is because “canon and religious community are intertwined concepts.”  So, “[t]he truth value of the Bible as Bible is inseprable from recognition of the church as its plausibility structure.” 
To confirm and supplement all of this, Moberly turns to John 7:14-18. This text is worth quoting in full (ESV), “About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. The Jews therefore marveled, saying, ‘How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?’ So Jesus answered them, ‘My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.'”
How does one come to see human words as not merely human but also from God? Drawing on Jesus’ words, Moberly argues that we are all implicated when it comes to this endeavor. Only to the extent that there is a certain kind of personal responsiveness is it possible to see human words as coming from God. In order to see human words as God’s words, Jesus tells us that one must resolve to do the will of God. To see the Bible as Scripture, there must be both openness and “existential engagement.”
While Moberly has motivated this view of knowledge throughout, it is so foreign to our way of thinking that it is worthwhile to explicate and defend the view. In modernist ways of thinking, we view knowledge and learning acquisition as something that can be detached and unengaged. There does not need to be any sort of commitment in order to know something. This largely comes from privileging myths about certain forms of knowledge as the sole form of knowledge. However, this is not the case.
Knowledge involves the whole person. The type of person we are is important both for learning and having knowledge. We all recognize this when we see the person mired in various cognitive biases come to the right conclusion. We do not say that they know such and such because they did not exhibit the intellectual virtues in coming to that view. To take another example, we have all had conversations where we have given up on convincing our interlocutor of a conclusion because they simply did not want to be convinced. Here we recognize that a certain openness and existential engagement is necessary.
It is when knowledge changes and affects our lives in significant ways that this is even more obvious. The person who is involved in therapy knows that there is a certain cost that comes to accepting certain conclusions. If the end result of adopting a certain view is that I must give up certain habits or bad relationships, then there is something at stake. To a great extent, I must be willing to bear those costs if I am to exhibit the right intellectual virtues when it comes to the discussion. This is why there is that often used saying that the person has to want to help themselves.
So it is when it comes to decisions of faith, especially following Jesus. If Jesus really does call his followers to die to themselves and bear his own cross, there is no higher cost. This really means something, if it means anything at all. Therefore, apart from a certain form of openness and willingness to do the will of God, learning and knowledge will never be had. After all, Jesus calls his disciples to die to themselves and bear his own cross, not be killed and have the cross foisted upon you.
This is where Moberly is bringing the discussion. The way we learn, know, and ultimately come to faith is embedded in social and cultural contexts and one’s own openness and engagement. Only within a matrix where the church is faithful to its calling can the privileging of Jesus and the Bible gain plausibility. Similarly, a person can only come to knowledge and faith only when one is willing to trust others, be open and engaged, and resolve to do God’s will.
Along the way, Moberly illustrates what all of this looks like by reading Aeneid 1 and Daniel 7 side-by-side. The different ways of reading are put on full display and illustrated illustriously in this case study. The book ends with an epilogue that takes up the problem of biblical illiteracy. The whole serves as a very different apologetic from the way we typically conduct ourselves. As Moberly concludes, “Ultimate, however, in line with John 7:16-17, the trust and trustworthiness of the biblical witness, and of its possible origin in God, cannot be known without a readiness, alongside other believers past and present, to respond, to enter with faith into the content of that witness, and to live and die accordingly.”