Book Review -- By: Anonymous
Why Believe?: Reason and Mystery as Pointers to God. By C. Stephen Evans. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996. 149 pages. Paperback; $13.
From his opening illustration to his closing comment Evans exemplifies the apologetic mind and spirit of I Peter 3:15. He sensitively and successfully weaves anecdotal threads through the warp and woof of questions about and answers regarding the hope and truth of Jesus as Lord. I-Es mind is prepared; his words are gentle; and his spirit is reverent. Evans’ sound and sincere apologetic makes this book a worthwhile read not only for pastors, counselors, teachers, and others who may work with people struggling with the claims of Christianity, but also for those who may themselves be struggling with the question: Why believe?
Evans’ academic credentials of being an Oxford University Press published professor of philosophy prepare him for the rigors of responding to a breadth and depth of the most challenging and troubling questions pertaining to the Christian faith. His passion for student ministries prepares him to communicate Christian love compellingly. And his thoughtful revision of what he originally published as The Quest for Jesus (1986) prepares him to artfully articulate an apologetic appropriate for today’s mind.
This apologetic takes shape over the course of 13 chapters: 1. Thinking About Faith? 2. God in the Courtroom 3. God and Santa Claus 4. The Mysterious Universe 5. The Mystery of Moral Order 6. The Mystery of Persons 7. The Divine Suitor 8. Was Jesus Really God? 9. Miracles and the Bible 10. Why Would a Good God Allow … ? 11. But Isn’t Religion Just … ? 12. Good News and Bad News 13. Making a Commitment
Evans opens every chapter with a thought-provoking quote and closes most chapters with a succinct summary of the material covered therein. Personally, I found chapter 9 on the problem of miracles to be the most developed and chapter 10 on the problem of evil to be the least developed of his chapters. But in every case, I found his thoughts to be insightful and informed and his writing to be lucid and sincere.
Likely the readership has been and will continue to be primarily college students and adults whose questions and doubts about Christianity tend to be somewhat intellectual in nature. But whoever reads Why Believe? will be gently challenged to honestly consider the claims of Christ.
Reviewed by Keith Currivean
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