Christians today find it difficult to provide answers to relevant cultural questions. Responses such as “That issue does not matter” or “How can you ask such a question?” do not satisfy the sincere inquirer. Christians’ ignorance, and the failure of many leaders to teach their congregations to think Biblically, compromise or deny the relevance of Scriptural truth when difficult questions are proposed.
William Lane Craig helps to remedy this problem by providing honest answers to a number of hard questions. Some questions are more philosophical, such as the relationship of suffering and evil. Other chapters provide ammunition that hits the mark regarding abortion and homosexuality. Opening chapters examine such practical questions as facing failure, doubt, and unanswered prayers.
The Bible has substantive answers for these serious questions. Correct ethical practice must always be rooted in correct Biblical thinking.
Two chapters are devoted to suffering and evil. First, the author addresses the intellectual problem of evil — can evil exist in a world created by a good God? In the subsequent chapter, he delves into the probability of God and evil coexisting.
A final chapter answers objections raised in our pluralistic society to Christ’s being the only way of salvation.
In each chapter the author clearly poses a question, raises possible objections, offers logical and Scriptural answers, and concludes with practical applications. He provides a number of illustrations relevant to the subject being discussed. Although the questions are profound, his writing is very engaging and the arguments are helpful and practical.
I do not agree with the author on a couple of points. One argument for abortion states that the world’s population is growing too fast. His response is “better birth control, not killing innocent people” (p. 125). I disagree with the premise that the world’s population is growing too fast; it has been clearly shown elsewhere that the world is not overpopulated (see The Myth of Over Population by R.J. Rushdoony, for example). I believe a more direct way to counter the argument is to address the myth of overpopulation.
In the final chapter, “Christ, the Only Way,” I do not believe he stresses the electing work of a sovereign God. Throughout the volume he reiterates God’s sovereignty; yet, when the issue of salvation is discussed, man seems to take the first step of faith toward God. In truth, it is God who grants faith and repentance to His elect and they exercise that faith by confessing Christ as Savior and Lord.
My differing thoughts on these points do not keep me from recommending this book. It is unique and practical. He deals with real objections compassionately and compellingly. This is a fine volume for personal study and for engaging the unbeliever, and the reader will likely find many uses for it when discussing issues with fellow Christians. Craig writes with a concern that many modern Christians do not know their own heritage. Also, many Christians fail to see the need for scholarship to impact the work of the church and one’s life as a believer.
Christian scholarship needs to be communicated with clarity. Real, Biblical answers do exist.