Most of us Christians do not have the resources or time to complete a pilgrimage dedicated to exploring our historical faith, visiting holy places close and far, interviewing experts on both our theology and the historical accuracy of the bible. A majority of us have the luxury of being raised in the faith which provides a solid foundation for belief, hopefully re-enforced by lived actions and a faith driven life-style. However, sometimes being born and raised in a tradition is a disservice. The religion of our heritage goes untested, the theology taken for granted, and the believer reduced to being a passive recipient rather than an active and engaged believer testing the word inside and outside the bubble of our community of believers.
Throughout history from the apostolic age to present Christians have faced criticism from Judaism, Secularism, Atheist, other world religions, philosophers, and others. Generally educated and ethical critics have not been a threat to our existence of safety. They have refined and tested our faith. We continue to develop our believers and message in-line with Jesus Christ while ensuring our institutions are teaching and being held accountable for preserving the word of true Christianity. If Christ were to return today I am confident that more than a few teachings would be upended and many a tabernacle laid bare and empty. The many splinters of Christianity today demonstrate the enormity of the task of humans preserving the message and striving to be close to the divine. I worry more about the safety of our faith and the safety of Christians at the hands of blowhards with shallow understanding, politicians with a political motivation, and mobs instigated by fear and hate. These are real and ever-present realities. Having critics and apologist debate sincerely and with intentional benevolence is divine pursuit. Having an uneducated and fear driven populous acting on mis-informed secular representations or false prophets rhetorical call to violence is our real enemy.
About the author: Lee Strobel is commonly called a Christian apologist today despite once being atheist. I see him as a mass market/motivational speaker, not necessarily a theological source. He has a history in journalism which he utilized to explore his found faith. At the end are links to his web page and a documentary on this book.
I hate the word “apologist.” It sounds too much like apology! “Apologetics is about rationally defending a position or view whose truth is challenged.”
Strobel does this by interviewing expert Christian Apologist and challenging them on the most common attacks from modern-day critics of Christianity. In one book he has covered the vast majority of criticisms that you will hear from people who have not had the time to delve deeply into investigating each new age or old age attack on Christian identity and theology. It is an “inside baseball” book as it is a dialogue of a Christian convert interviewing Christian apologist. However, having read many criticisms of Catholicism and christianity, listened to countless uninformed representations of the faith, and having a background in philosophy/psychology/social work – it is refreshing to read an unapologetic, easy to read, defense of the faith. It is not error free and clearly not exhaustive. The review I provided on Zealot prior covered many of the same points – in some cases reaching different conclusions. These are the types of books that everyday people are reading. Who these days goes and reads comphrehenisve documents from Antiquities in the native language of the day? However, if you are exploring the faith and the ongoing attacks on the christian faith – every Christian needs to understand the arguments for and against Christianity. This book is an excellent primer on the subject. No believer should take their faith for granted. We are all apologist!
That being said, we have no need to sell one version of the divine, to convince others of our beliefs, or to denigrate others not in the faith. Faith sharing will not be one by theological arguments but by lived faith and the grace of God. We are not here “to win” but to serve the faith and our shared God.
Book rating: 10