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…

Abraham Lincoln Quoted by Jesus! Mark 3

Mark records a curious event in his third chapter (link). If you look at Mark 3:25, you'll see that Jesus quotes the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After all, one of the highlights of the Lincoln years is his famous speech regarding slavery in the United States where he used the phrase that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech was given in 1858 when he accepted the nomination to run against Stephen A. Douglas for Senate, but is still remembered as the defining speech regarding slaveholding in the United States. I recall being taught in school how brilliant and groundbreaking the speech was, how Lincoln had used such wise words to convey his thought. Yet the idea was not original to Lincoln. Rather, it was embedded in Lincoln from his time reading the Bible. Now, I have read varying reports about Lincoln's personal religious beliefs: some place him as a nearly completely committed Christian while others have him somewh…

Book: Vindicating the Vixens

Well, if Vindicating the Vixens doesn’t catch your attention as a book title, I’m not sure what would. This volume, edited by Sandra L. Glahn (PhD), provides a look at some of the women of the Bible who are “Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized.” As is frequently the case, I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my review.Let’s take this a stage at a time. First stage: book setup. This is primarily an academic Biblical Studies book. Be prepared to see discussions of Greek and Hebrew words, as appropriate. You’ll also need a handle on the general flow of Biblical narrative, a willingness to look around at history, and the other tools of someone who is truly studying the text. This is no one-day read. It’s a serious study of women in the Bible, specifically those who either faced sexual violence or who have been considered sexually ‘wrong’ across years of study.A quick note: this book is timely, not opportunistic. The length of time to plan, assign, develop, and publish a multi…