Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book Review : Beyond Opinion (Living the Faith We Defend) by Ravi Zacharias

I chose this book to review because I needed a selection of books for my son to read next year in our homeschool for his Christian Apologetics course. I thought it would probably be dry and textbook type but I was very wrong. This book starts off with a preface by Ravi that in itself was eye-opening. I have not studied apologetics much but have always had the desire to learn answers to the questions I am asked about my faith. This book urged me to learn this and to take it seriously because the Christian faith is not only about what Jesus has done for me, but what He wants to do for the entire world. I like the fact that these chapters (written by different authors) all meet the requirement of being loving to the one we are answering to. Too many times we want to learn the "answers" just so we can come off looking "smart" or "Right". This is not the point of apologetics...the point is "studying to show yourself approved, a workman that needs not be ashamed" so that you can relate to others who are searching from a different worldview for the truth. Or so that you can relate to those who would seek to undermine your faith simply because they have studied on how to bring doubts into your mind, while you may not have studied on how those doubts are settled intelligently and Scripturally. This book helps you to do that.
There are chapters on Postmodernity, Islam, atheism, Eastern religion, science and other topics. The writers are clear in their statements. The vocabulary is advanced to a certain extent so a dictionary was necessary for me for a couple of the chapters since I am new to apologetics and the terms used in that study. I think my favorite chapter was addressing the challenges that our young people who are Christians face today as they attend public school and colleges. It stresses the importance of teaching our young people apologetics for their faith so that they can avoid the hazards of falling away from their faith simply because of oppression and not having been trained in how to defend it. We spend much time training our children to get good grades or to learn to play a sport well...should we not spend equal or more time teaching them how to hold onto their faith? Yes, we should.
I am very happy to have found this book. It will be an excellent resource for our apologetics course next year. It is easily studied and has helped me to grow already in defending my own faith as an adult. Sometimes the person that we are defending our faith to is ourselves...
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 comment:

patsy said...

This is the reason for our being, to "study to show ourself approved, a workman that needs not be ashamed" so that you can relate to others who are searching from a different worldview for the truth and so that we can relate to those who would seek to undermine our faith. I believe how we communicate with others has everything to do with how we represent our Christ. Sometimes we (Christians) can do more damage than good. Pam, I so love watching you grow, watching you disciple your children, watching you speak into the lives of others. You intentionally seek to glorify God in all you do. You are an inspiration to me, and I love you very much. I pray as I go each day to be able to relate to those I come in contact with to show them a Jesus Christ that they would want to come to know. I love your new site.