If you have tough questions related to Christianity, then this is the book for you. It is a fun read and tackles real questions from real people on a broad spectrum of topics.
Several positive features caught my attention while I was reading through the book. First, Dr. William Lane Craig offers clear thinking on complex issues. Even though Dr. Craig has multiple PhDs, he is able to communicate in a way that his readers can understand. Second, as mentioned before, the book is full of real questions from real people. As you read each question you get a chance to sense and feel what the asker is struggling with and see how Dr. Craig responds. Third, this book contains concise questions that can be easily consumed in a single brief sitting, making it ideal for someone with a busy schedule. You could easily read one question a day or skim through the book to find the questions and answers that are relevant to your situation. Finally, the book has great footnotes and could be used as a spring board for further reading.
On the flip side, there were two things that I thought were possible negatives. First, I found the introduction long, repetitive, and boring. Although the introduction provided good information, it wasn't until I got to part one of the book that I really started to enjoy myself. Second, although Dr. Craig does a good job of making complex issues digestible for the average reader, there were several questions and answers that I thought were so esoteric that only someone with a background in philosophy could understand them. I worry that some of Dr. Craig's responses might leave the average reader with more questions than answers.
Despite these short comings, I thought this was a great book! Anyone looking for clear answers to tough questions related to Christianity should pick up a copy. They won't regret it!
This is a great resource for people everywhere who are passionate about defending the Christian faith or to those who are seeking to understand more evidence for why Christians believe what they believe. William Lane Craig and Joseph Gorra utilize a question/answer based system in order to provide quick resources for tough questions about Christianity. It is a perfect format for people so they can quickly find answers for various questions and objections that arise in their faith. The book is succinctly divided into several sections, which include:
Part One: Knowing and Believing What is Real.
Part Two: God's Attributes
Part Three: Origins and the Meaning of Life
Part Four: Afterlife and Problem of Evil
Part Five: Jesus Christ and Being His Disciple
Part Six: Issues of Christian Practice
Overall, this is a great read, provides a lot of useful information on tough questions, and is great for encouraging Christians in their beliefs and providing strong evidence for God's existence.
This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.
Until I read "A Reasonable Response", I had not read a book that focused so much on the "ministry" aspect of answering questions. As apologists, we have to constantly humble ourselves to the fact that true wisdom comes from God; working such a vast array of multidisciplinary knowledge, we can forget about the pastoral aspects of answering people's questions. Actively listening to the questioner and listening for clues that give you perspective on where the person is coming from is a ministry! Often times the root of a question stems from something emotive or non-intellectualâ€”or even just a simple failure to define the terms upfront, so one has to know enough about the questioner to really get at the essence of what's being asked_Gorra does an excellent job making the case for the importance of questions, the pastoral aspects, and gives concrete advice on how deal with questions.
Bill Craig's responses to questions follow, divided into six key areas: believing and knowing, existence of God, origins/meaning of life, destiny of man, the person of Jesus and finally, the Christian life. The Q & A covers a range and depth of topics within each area. A nice feature is how a particular "insight" point is printed in bold letters, interrupting at a place in the question where Bill is advising on how to understand more where the questioner is coming from, or how to make sure the person is being fully understood and ministered to effectively. I will say right away that I do disagree with Craig on some points of his theology and I am not entirely on board with points he makes regarding evolution, but his apologetic style incorporates a great deal of natural theology, which is completely sensible and relevant in our increasingly biblically illiterate culture. Bill is an excellent apologist covering some of the toughest topics out there, and we need all types of apologetic styles doing the work of the Kingdom.
No matter what your apologetic style, you have to be a able to answer questions in an intelligent and caring way, and ask the right questions to get to know the questioner. Gorra has some excellent advice in the Appendicesâ€”on how to engage in good civil discourse, suggestions for apologetics ministries in churches and "third places" such as coffee shops and cafes, etc. This is a wonderful small group study book for both seekers and Christians. This book not only focuses on information, but applicationâ€”making it extremely relevant and highly useful.
I received this book from the publisher as a review copy.
A Reasonable Response: Answers to Tough Questions on God, Christianity and the Bible, by William Lane Craig and Joseph E. Gore, is a wonderful resource for those interested in apologetics, or those seeking answers to questions on topics such as knowing and believing what is real, questions about God, origins and the meaning of life, the afterlife and evil, Jesus Christ and being his disciple, and issues of Christian practice. The book uses a question and answer format. It is well organized topically making it possible to read the book in a piecemeal fashion if desired. Joseph Gorra's introductory remarks and insights, that appear in many of the responses, help you understand both the claims and their appeal when addressing inquirers who want to understand issues of theology, philosophy, and apologetics. For those wishing further study there are two recommended resource lists, at the end of each introduction, which are designed to encourage further study. One list includes Dr. Craig's own work on a theme, the second includes the relevant works of other authors. Each of the recommended lists categorizes resources as either beginner, intermediate or advanced. The opportunity to gain direction on further study, in a theme of your interest, is one of the benefits of this book.
None of us may ever be as smart as William Lane Craig. We may never travel the world giving lectures and participating in debates. But we all will be asked questions about our beliefs and must be able to answer them reasonably. And that is the purpose of this book: answering questions.
But it is so much more than that. In the Introduction and Conclusion, Joseph Gorra discusses why questions are so important and lays the framework for why such a book as this one is necessary. Otherwise, it would be just a "best-of" collection of the questions Craig has received and posted on his website, ReasonableFaith.org.
The true point of the book is to teach us not just WHAT to respond but HOW to respond to questions. Each question contains a brief "Insight" section that gives a behind-the-scenes look into Craig's thought process as he formed his response. We are not just responding to a question; we are responding to a person. Craig and Gorra do not want us to treat answering questions like an intellectual sparring match but to view it as a ministry and spiritual discipline.
So the importance of this book is so much more than just the answers it provides. Its true purpose is to teach us how to respond to seekers and skeptics with truth and grace.
This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.