Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Beyond Opinion

Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend by Ravi Zacharias

My thoughts on this book

rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was not written by Ravi Zacharias. I just wanted to get that out of the way. I noticed right away (but only after I got the book in my hands) that each chapter is written by a contributor, and is edited by Zacharias, though he does contribute to a few of the chapters.

Though the book is organized in a logical manner, it would work fine to take the segment you are interested in and read just that portion. One of the strengths of a book like this is that if you tire of a particular author, you only need to wait until that particular essay is finished, and the next chapter will contain new information on a new subject written in a completely different style. This was a strength and a weakness of this book. From chapter to chapter one could find great depth in reasoning and arguments for faith. Some of the chapters may require a couple of readings to really grasp the breadth of all the author is saying. Other chapters are quite informal and are full of anecdotes which may or may not be very useful though at least entertaining.

The chapters I found most useful and eye opening were "Challenges from Science" (John Lennox), "The Trinity as a Paradigm for Spiritual Transformation" (L. T. Jeyachandran) (one of the most thought-provoking things I've ever read) and "Challenges from Islam" (Sam Soloman)

Probably the greatest thing I will take away from this book, however is the idea of teaching apologetics to my kids. Not in a formal way, but in the casual everyday encounter with culture and life and the Bible. We as a church have lost that intentionality regarding our young people and I am determined to make apologetic thinking a part of their education and skills! Check back in about 10 years and we'll see how that worked out.

We used this book as a small group tool. We meet weekly and read a new chapter each week. There was usually plenty to discuss from the readings. Each chapter was usually 20-30 pages each.

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