Skip to main content

Book Review: Beyond Opinion

Up next from Booksneeze: Beyond Opinion by Ravi Zacharias.  Well, it's primarily by Ravi Zacharias.  There are other contributors, but he's the general editor, so he gets both credit and blame for the whole work.  Here's what it looks like:

Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend

(Just a note: this book is a re-issue, originally published in 2008.  I didn't read it then.)

There is much talk today about being Christians in the midst of a multi-cultural and pluralistic world.  Some of the talk comes from within the family of faith, some from outside, and it raises good questions.  What are those questions?

Well, there are questions like: "Why is there evil?" or "How can Christians claim that their God is the only right one?"  Within the church, we ask similar questions, like "How can I insist I'm right? Is that not disrespectful?"

Unfortunately, we in the American church aren't generally well-equipped to answer these questions.  Over the years, the ease of cultural Christianity has dulled the sharpness of our minds, the ability to formulate coherent explanations of our faith and defenses of it.  Moreover, as we're faced with these questions, our answers have too often been long on talk and short on action.  We've professed a belief in a life-changing God without changed lives.

Enter the efforts of Ravi Zacharias with Beyond Opinion.  This is not simply another textbook on apologetics, nor is it a basic list of evidences for our faith.  This is, instead, a collection of essays that address specific topics.  They are written by a variety of theologians, many that are involved with Zacharias' ministry group.  Some of these names were familiar to me, others I've never heard of.

As to the content of this work:  this is not light reading.  There is a great deal here to digest, and much to consider.  The arguments and ideas are well presented.  The order, to me, is logical.

The difficulty with this book arises with accessibility.  It's a challenge to write a book that deals with philosophy and theology and not go over a few people's heads.  And this is not to take away from those people's intellect.  Theology is a science, after all, and just as you wouldn't expect to lightly read a forensics textbook, you are not going to grab this off the shelf for casual summer reading.

That's not to say it shouldn't be read.  Nor that the casual reader shouldn't stretch themselves to tackle it.  Rather, I would encourage you to read this, and be prepared to ask a few questions.

This is well worth your time.

 

Doug

Remember to read Disclosures! so you know that I received the book for free in exchange for a review through Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.



First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…