Johnston is concerned that Christians have unanswered questions that are not being addressed in churches. Based on the thousands of questions they received at their Christian Thinkers Society, they found “that there was a significant divide between the topics normally discussed in the pulpit and the actual unanswered grass roots questions that existed in our congregations.” (55-6)
This book address the major categories of unanswered questions Johnston receives. He wants Christians to be thinking Christians, engaging in healthy discussions. The aim of the book, he writes, is to “equip the reader to speak in an informed and responsible way about the deepest questions that lie at the heart of our modern Christian faith...” (31)
The major questions he addresses: God's hiddenness and silence, Jesus' resurrection, suicide and mental illness, the lure of the paranormal, Christians knowing just enough of the Bible to be dangerous, and suffering. I was a bit surprised that no sexual issues were included in the list.
Johnston does a good job of addressing these issues. He uses examples from life and the Bible to illustrate his principles. He uses plenty of Scripture too. I liked his “engagement principles,” one of which was “shut up and listen.”
The book contains much good material to help Christians deal with their questions. Having been taught as a child that I was not to question my belief but accept it in faith, I really appreciate the attitude the author has. Reading this book would help many wrestle with their faith. There are some current social issues that are not included but Johnston has invited readers to email him at the Christian Thinkers Society with additional questions.
This would make a good book for a church education class. There are additional resources available for this purpose, such as a study guide and a DVD.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Jeremiah J. Johnston is a New Testament scholar, professor, apologist, and regular speaker on university campuses, churches, and conferences. He serves as the founder and president of Christian Thinkers Society, a Resident Institute at Houston Baptist University where he also serves as Associate Professor of Early Christianity. You can find out more at www.ChristianThinkers.com.
Whitaker House, 224 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through The Book Club Network for the purpose of an independent and honest review.