Book Reviews

In his concise book Know Why You Believe, Paul Little helps us to understand and be able to articulate many of the questions skeptics ask about the Bible and Christianity.  The chapters cover such topics as: Is Christianity Rational?; Is the Bible God’s Word?; Are the Bible Documents Reliable?; Does Archaeology Help?; Do Science and Scripture Conflict?; Why Does God Allow Suffering?; Does Christianity Differ from Other Religions?; and several more.  You’ll gain tremendous insight into the amazing accuracy of the Scriptures and God’s plan for mankind while having solid answers to some of the difficulties unbelievers (and many believers) face when they wrestle with the myriad of viewpoints.  This is a book packed with knowledge in an easy to understand format.
 
- Asst. Pastor Darbyshire
 
 
"[From] the moment students set foot on the contemporary campus, their Christian convictions and discipline are assaulted. ‘Faith is just a crutch,’ they hear from friends and teachers. ‘The Bible is just mythology.’ ‘Christianity is judgmental and intolerant.’ ‘Morality is different everywhere.’ ‘Everyone must find his own truth.’ ‘I can be good without God.’ ‘Jesus was just a man who died.’ No wonder so many lose their faith!” (J. Budziszewski, How to Stay Christian in College).

Dr. Budziszewski is a philosopher, and a professor who, according to the website at the University of Texas at Austin, “specializes in political philosophy, ethical philosophy, and the interaction of religion with philosophy. Among his research interests are classical natural law, virtue ethics, moral self deception, family and sexuality, and the problem of toleration.”

The book, originally published by NavPress in 1999 contains chapters entitled Worldviews, Talking with NonChristian Friends, Campus Myths, and How to Cope. Reading How to Stay Christian in College will be a blessing and a help in your battle against the enemies of  Christ whether you are in college or not. "Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise." Proverbs 13:20.

 
Professor Budziszewski points out that for many young people college is the first escape from the structure and boundaries of home and can be a strange world of adult personal freedom combined with, in some cases, an atmosphere that still protects, provides, and pampers. Unfortunately, “colleges and universities are [also] magnets for extreme beliefs, ideologies, and cults.” For the young Christian, raised by Christian parents, who was part of a Christian youth group and church, and who may have even attended Christian schools, campus can be culture shock. Finding oneself with an unbelieving roommate, and/or suddenly outgunned and outnumbered in a place where the Bible, the Christian faith, and Christian values are held up to constant ridicule is a face-slapping reminder that the world is the enemy. Unfortunately, “As students grow older, the intellectual level of their Christian training often drops instead of rises! Many of them never get beyond a child’s understanding of the faith. They carry it right into college, where it’s all too often blown away.” So Dr. Budziszewski begins the book by underscoring the basics of orthodox Christianity.

Following that the author introduces the false philosophies and beliefs systems that the Christian student may run across in the halls of academia: Naturalism (“Naturalists like to think of themselves as brave defenders of clear reasoning against irrational superstition, but actually naturalism itself is the superstition. It isn’t supported by reasoning, but by blind hostility to the evidence of God.”).  Postmodernism (basically a self-refuting “There is no such thing as truth” belief system), and Do-It-Yourself Spirituality (as in “I’m a very spiritual person”, a wonderfully ridiculous western buffet of pick and choose what you want kind of religion you want).

He introduces the reader to many other lies that will be commonplace in the halls of academia such as, “Faith and reason or faith and truth are mutually exclusive”.  “Truth is whatever you sincerely believe” (i.e. relativism), and “Truth is whatever works” (pragmatism), and “We can’t really know anything for certain”. He covers a lot of ground in this easy to read, fairly short book. 
 
- Pastor Kleiser

 

In his book, Stop Dating the Church, Josh Harris makes the statement, "¦ even though I had stopped playing the dating game with girls, I was perfectly happy to keep playing it with the Church.  I liked attending on weekends, and I enjoyed the social benefits of Church, but I didn't want the responsibility that came with real commitment.

He goes on to describe what real commitment looks like in a relationship with others, with God, and with His bride (the Church).  We are to see the Church from heaven's perspective, think globally, love locally, put passion in action, and discern what matters most to God.  Pastor Harris continues, "¦ remember that you're not here to be entertained.  You're not part of an audience - you're part of a congregation.  You stand before the Audience of One.

For a concise view of the value of the local Church and God's perspective on commitment, check out this excellent book by Josh Harris.

- Asst. Pastor Darbyshire