Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Bible's Answers to 100 of Life's Biggest Questions

Life presents troubling questions and we Christians are to be ready with answers (1 Pet. 3:15) This book was written to help.

I found some very positive aspects of this book and some troubling ones. On the positive side, the book contains good foundational material, such as on the character of God, the Holy Spirit, how to grow in faith, advice on marriage, and what other religions believe. The authors tackle hard questions, like, “If God is all good, why is there evil?” They write about creation and evolution, the future of those who have never heard the gospel, the existence of hell, and same-sex marriage. When Christians differ on an issue, they sometimes offer all sides (but not always). When the answer to a question cannot be determined, they let us know, such as where Jesus was between his death and resurrection.

The book is lacking in some areas, however. On the question of whether Jesus rose from the dead or not, the authors say, “the evidence for his resurrection is indisputable.” (76) The evidence they give, however, is all from the Bible. That is not going to be considered “indisputable” by people who question the authority and historicity of the Bible.

The most troubling for me were the questions where the authors gave their answers and did not inform the readers of other possibilities. The authors are decidedly of the premillennial pretribulation rapture camp. One would never know by reading this book that there are, in fact, postmillennial and amillennial views, as well as differing views on the rapture. This bias came out in the question about the future of America with respect to prophecy. The authors say America will decline, “...imagine how many Christians in America will be taken at the rapture.” (153) They never mention that there are many scholars who are convinced there is no such thing as a “secret” rapture, but rather just one gathering when Jesus returns. Also regarding prophecy and writing about Ezekiel 38-39, they mention “the Russian-Islamic invasion” as referring to Gog and Magog. (158) They fail to mention that every person who has tried to identify these entities in the past has been unsuccessful.

The authors will probably irritate Calvinists and Arminians alike. As a Calvinist, I feel they are soft on God's sovereignty, distinguishing “God's desired (preferred) will and his determined (sovereign) will.” (99) Arminians will no doubt be irritated when the authors state, “There are several reasons Christians can't lose their salvation.” (105)

And the Charismatics and Pentecostals will be disappointed with the authors' writing about the work of the Holy Spirit. The authors state the “Pentecostal/Charismatic movement” is the most popular one of many that “misinterpret the Bible, and therefore, misinterpret the activity of the Holy Spirit in people's lives.” (90) In the section on casting out demons, the authors write, “But we do not have all the gifts the apostles had (2 Cor. 12:12).” (132) Interestingly enough, that verse mentions that Paul had gifts but does not say others did not.

Consider this statement: “Millennials have never actually been taught about the life, work, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (272) That is an unprovable statement and too broad of a generalization. If just one millennial has been taught those truths, the authors are wrong.

Potential readers need to be aware that the authors have definite theological ideas and promote them in this book, sometimes not giving other accepted viewpoints.

As part of the answers, the authors give a practical application. They also include additional resources, including biblical references, books, and websites. Short videos have been made to go along with the book at The One Minute Apologist, www.oneminuteapologist.com/.

Norman L. Geisler is Distinguished Professor of Apologetics and Theology at Veritas Evangelical Seminary in Murrieta, California. He is the author of more than ninety books.
Jason Jimenez is founder and president of re|shift ministries, inc., and has pastored families for over fifteen years. He lives in North Carolina.

BakerBooks, 287 pages. Find out more about the book and read an excerpt  here.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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