Monday, November 7, 2016

Answering the Toughest Questions About God and the Bible by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz

We shouldn't be afraid of tough questions, Bickel and Jantz write. Ultimately, questions will deepen our love for God and lead to sound faith.

The authors chose the top ten questions young people are asking today about God and what it says in His Word. Before answering the questions, however, they lay a foundation by investigating certainty, the importance of listening to others, and the role of trust.

The characteristics and intellectual nature of this book make it suitable for teens. For example, when relating the rebellion of Adam and Eve, the authors write, “Like rebellious teens, they stood smiling in agreement as the instructions for life were given, but as soon as God the Father turned around, they stuck out their tongues and ran off to do what they wanted.” (434/3274) The authors do write that they aimed their book at “young adults.” (2552/3274) I would not recommend the book for those into a college experience because of the book's lack of intellectual rigor.

Youth pastors might use this book but I would suggest additional study to supplement it. An example of why I make that suggestion is when the authors write that God is “the unmoved mover, 100 percent free to do as he chooses without being acted upon by any other force...” (565/3274) I think teens would then ask questions about prayer and why one should even pray. Information to help in that discussion is not included in the book so further study would have to have been previously completed.

It seems this book is aimed at those not very familiar with Christianity and the Bible. In describing the major themes of the Bible, the authors write, “If you are familiar with the Bible or Christianity, these six 'Acts' will likely ring a bell.” (1423/3274) I would not recommend this book to seasoned Christians.

I recommend this book to those who have basic questions about God and Christianity and are not looking for something with intellectual rigor. The authors are very personable, sharing some of their own experiences. Their writing style is very conversational.

The authors have included questions for reflection and discussion throughout the book. That would make the book a good one to use in a teen group. This book is a good starting point for teens with questions. Unfortunately, there was not a list of additional resources or books for further study in the egalley I read. While it is a good introductory book, readers will have to go elsewhere to pursue a deeper discussion of these questions.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Bruce Bickel received a degree in Theater Arts, tried performing, then went to law school. He has been practicing law for twenty years. He has co-authored 60 books. He is a popular speaker and has appeared on many radio and television programs. He and his wife live in Fresno, California. You can find out more at http://www.brucebickel.com/ .
Stan Jantz serves as the executive director of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. He was previously interim CEO of Gospel Light Publishing and is the founder of content consulting company The Muvum Group and co-founder of Conversant Media. He also managed a chain of Christian retail stores for 25 years. He lives in California.

Bethany House, 208 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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