4 Stars Out Of 5
December 19, 2016
Have you, or someone you know, ever asked the kind of questions that seem impossible to answer or at least impossible to answer well? I had the opportunity to review a book that claims, with its very title, to give answers to some of those questions.
Answering The Toughest Questions About God And The Bible, by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz, is a relatively simple book that gets to the heart of many questions, not by giving pat answers, but by asking more questions, providing evidence that helps to clarify, pointing out the truths of scripture, and encouraging the asker to keep asking, to keep wrestling until they are satisfied. I found their approach to be refreshing, having seen what can happen when young believers are discouraged from asking questions; sometimes, like with Jacob, faith comes through the wrestling.
The authors do not shy away from hard topics; they do indeed hit the big ones: Is God real, why did he create us, why doesn't he make himself more obvious, can I trust the Bible, why is the Bible hard to understand, if Jesus is so loving why is God so violent, why is Jesus the only way, the Trinity, and does God really care about me and my life.
After asking the question, there is a short introduction, usually an anecdote of someone who has asked the question; often there is section that highlights the honest struggles that many believers have with the topic helping to remove the guilt at asking for answers. God invites us to seek, ask and knock, that is the process the authors leads us through.
The seeking process is shown by learning the facts, the scripture, the opposing views, and the false teachings surrounding the question. This book is not a deep apologetics text, so you will not be given a deluge of information, but you will be given the basics and direction to look deeper if you desire to.
One of the most helpful parts of this book is one I normally hate: the questions for reflection sections. Usually they are cheesy and vague, but the questions posed throughout the chapters in this book seem actually to be design to help the reader honestly clarify what he is thinking, believing, or even occasionally disbelieving.
I like this book because instead of making the reader feel guilty or ashamed of his questions it reminds him that questions are an honest starting point. It is through questions that faith can grow and emerge on a solid, thought out and defendable foundation. These questions are too important not to ask. If someone you know is asking them, this book may help.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.