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Will there be sex in heaven? Are miraculous gifts for today? Does God ever change His mind? Such difficult questions often intrigue us, readily confuse us, and sometimes disturb us. Drawing on nearly 40 years of teaching and ministry experience, pastor-scholar Sam Storms answers 25 challenging questions Christians are often too afraid to ask, addressing thorny issues ranging from the eternal destiny of infants to the roles of demons and angels. The robust, thoughtful answers provided in this book offer a helpful alternative to relying on simplistic explanations, and will encourage you in the search for truth and clarity on such tough topics.
-Raymond C. Ortlund Jr.,
Lead Pastor, Immanuel Church, Nashville, Tennessee
Let's face it, the church has not always done the best possible job at fielding the hard questions posed to it by both skeptics and members. In the case of the first group, skeptics end up discounting Christianity, dismissing it as irrational, head-in-the-sand religious fanaticism. In the case of the second group, members become frustrated with the Christian faith and often drift away from what they have found to be a shallow, inconsistent, and quite unsatisfying worldview. Sam Storms, is a leader whom has the Lord has wonderfully gifted not only to answer the tough questions, but also to provide an accessible resource for Christian leaders to be better prepared to engage skeptics and church members who wrestle with these issues rather than to rebuff them and discount their difficulties. Sam's passion is to deal with twenty-five of the most challenging questions you will ever face, and do it in such a way that you become convinced of the answers and are prepared to offer help to others who face them as well. He accomplishes this goal, not by offering his own good ideas and the best of human counsel, but by relying on the wisdom of God as found in Scripture.
-Gregg R. Allison,
Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Some questions about God and the Bible intrigue us. Others get completely under our skin and frustrate us. The chances are good that if a question is bothering you, you are not the first to ask it! Sam Storms draws on all his pastoral experience in this helpful book as he honestly answers questions some people like to avoid.
author, Raised With Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything
Sam Storms's Tough Topics is equally the work of a deeply concerned and caring pastor, and that of a thoughtful, seasoned, and biblically-saturated theologian. As I read this book, specific people kept coming to mind who would be helped greatly by one of more of its chapters--such wisdom, such balance, and such biblical clarity. Readers will likely differ at points with their pastor--theologian guide, but they will rise up and thank him for offering such wise counsel on such an array of difficult and important questions. There's something here for everyone. Pick up and read, and see how faithful pastoral theology really does bless the church.
-Bruce A. Ware,
Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
People are inquisitive by nature. It is the way God made us. We have all kinds of questions about Him. When people learn that I teach theology for a living, the first thing they do is begin to ask questions--tough questions. Sam Storms has given us an incredibly useful resource in his book Tough Topics. He has braved the minefield of some of the most difficult questions people have concerning God, the Bible, Church, and Christianity in general. What I like about this work is not simply its accessibility, but Sam's gentle and balanced scholarship. When we have questions about God, this is no casual thing requiring the opinions of sages on street corners. These are serious questions requiring someone who is well versed in the Bible. Sam has always been one who I go to when I have questions. Now I have the book! And, as Sam says, the answer to these questions do not drive us to be puffed up in knowledge, they drive us to worship.
-C. Michael Patton,
Founder, President, and fellow, The Credo House, Edmond, Oklahoma
contemplativereflections4 Stars Out Of 5Tough Topics ReviewNovember 19, 2014contemplativereflectionsSam Storms' "Tough Topics: Biblical Answers to 25 Challenging Questions" is a very accessible book with topics ranging from the inerrancy of God's Word to the practice of tithing. Although the twenty-five questions are far from comprehensive, Storms raises many intriguing questions that Christians may have asked from time to time. Instead of randomly picking the topics, Storms has attempted to focus on some specific areas so that related chapters can build upon each other's arguments. For example, chapters 11-14 are about Satan and demons while chapters 18-20 are related to miraculous gifts and Spirit baptism. One of the strengths of this book is how Storms is upfront about his own view on the topics. Most authors that I have read try to steer clear of providing any insight on how he or she personally views the issue. Perhaps this could be attributed to Storms' motivation to make this book accessible to the layperson and his own pastoral background. Nevertheless, the author always provides a brief overview of the major perspectives that have been offered throughout church history. Acknowledging the short length of the book, Storms also offers helpful footnotes and suggestions for further reading on the topic.
The book is not hard to read and the topics discussed do pop up once in a while during my conversations with Christians and unbelievers. Storms' writing style is concise and avoids using technical terms beyond the knowledge of most Christians. My main motivation for reading this book was not only to find out the final answer that Storms puts forward but to also learn how to approach these issues biblically. Storms uses numerous Scriptural references to build his arguments and allows the reader to see how he arrives at his own viewpoint. The chapter that I found most intriguing was Chapter 18 "Are Miraculous Gifts for Today?" which is interesting for me as I come from a cessationist background. Being a continuationist, Storms argues that there is no concrete evidence in the Bible for the cessation of miraculous gifts. His arguments were convincing and provoked me to investigate this subject more. I also appreciate the fact that Storms always ends on a pastoral note in each chapter by linking the answer he gives to the Christian life. Instead of merely analyzing facts, Storms invites readers to delve deeper into understanding the character of God and His Word which should inform our answers to any questions that we may have. I recommend this book for Christians in all walks of life as the answers that Storms provides are sound and biblical. Even if one does not agree with his conclusions, this book is a great entry point to understanding more on these complex issues.
In compliance with Federal Trade Commission regulations, I was provided a free review copy of this book from Crossway.
WoofiejoAge: 45-54Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Answers To Tough TopicsOctober 25, 2013WoofiejoAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I love the overall idea of this book and that you can have a resource that easily identifies the answers to some of the most difficult questions that Christians struggle with. The topics range from deep philosophical questions such as "Will people be condemned for not believing in Jesus though they've never heard His name?" to lighter topics such as "Will there be sex in heaven?" Rather than detail everything that the writer knows about a particular topic, Storms simplifies the answer and keeps the information succinct. Even though I may not agree with every answer given, I appreciate the attempt to provide an easy fact-based reference.
I can easily see how this could become a whole series of books, since this book is only able to scratch the surface of some of the most difficult questions for Christians.
I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.