|Ryan P. Whitson|
The authors of Reasons to Believe focused on ten very important questions about Christianity. Each question was answered in great detail and with careful thought. Scripture references were given to provide the reader with additional information. Some of the questions presented in the book include:
|Dennis B. Moles|
- Is the Bible Trustworthy?
- Do All Religions Teach the Same Thing?
- Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?
- Why Would a Good God Allow Suffering?
These questions and six more are included in Reasons to Believe. Each question was well researched by the authors. Footnotes and definitions are included in each chapter as well as a conclusion and discussion questions. Many of the questions presented are ones I have asked myself over the years. To give an example of how the questions are answered in the book, I will expound on one question, Why Would a Good God Allow Suffering.
The question, Why Would a Good God Allow Suffering, is presented in the book as being an age-old problem. The author says, this question is called the "problem of evil" and presents another question that relates to it, "If, as the Bible teaches, God is in control and loving in character, then why do evil and suffering still exist in the world? This question has served as the most compelling argument for atheism throughout human history and to this day has persuaded people to doubt God's existence." After presenting those questions, the author poses an if-then answer. He states "If there is no God, all that remains to explain the reality of evil (and the suffering that results) is the physical world. But mere bits and pieces of matter such as atoms, molecules, dust, and rocks have nothing to say about mortality, evil or pain. As a result, nothing is available to explain what is called evil. Yet this is not a satisfying answer because most people cringe at sights such as the slave trade or barbarous murder scenes from terrorist networks around the world. Most people know realize evil exists and are able to identify it, but without God it is hard to explain the cause of this savagery. For this reason, people who experience deep suffering usually look to God, either as the rescuer from their pain or as the one responsible for it." The author presents statements used to justify this way of thinking such as "God is not in control" or "God is not loving." But the author gives another viewpoint, too, and gives reasons the reader should believe. The author says "Acknowledging that evil exists and causes real suffering best explains reality and is a helpful tool for rationally believing God exists." After arguing both sides of the question, the author presents a solution to the problem by stating the truth and offering the Biblical content to substantiate his claims to the correct way to answer the question. At the end of each chapter, a conclusion and discussion questions are presented.
The book, Reasons to Believe, would be a good book for small groups and Bible studies. It would also be a good book to use in preparation for sharing the gospel with others. By understanding common questions and gaining knowledge backed by Scripture, the reader would be well equipped to face challenging and poignant questions any time and any place. I would highly recommend this book. It was well thought out and well presented. It is easy to read and filled with great insight.
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