Wednesday, July 28

Beyond Opinion

Beyond Opinion by Ravi Zacharias

Beyond Opinion is not a book a I would suggest reading in one sitting, or even in a couple settings. It is a compilation of essays from various people who practice apologetics. Ravi Zacharias is the general editor for the book and also contributed some of his own articles. So instead, I would recommend reading an article, maybe two, and then setting it down for a bit (unless apologetics is really your thing).
The purpose of Beyond Opinion as I saw it is informing Christians as to the reasons that apologetics is vitally important to faith as well as being an easy and quick reference. Though it does offer information that can be used while witnessing, that is not the book’s primary purpose. This book was inspired by a question asked of Zacharias: “why is [supernatural conversion] more evident in the lives of so many Christians…]”

To help answer the above question, the chapters cover a variety of topics. The book begins with different worldviews that often question or come in conflict with the Christian faith, including Atheism, Islam, and Postmodernism. Next, essays address questions generally aimed at Christianity. These topics include a discussion of evil and suffering written by Zacharias. Later articles seek to explain the importance of the Trinity as well as a final article about the importance of apologetics. All weave together to make a large point: If you are a question, and especially if you hope to witness to others it is important to know not only why you believe, but you have to have an understanding of the worldviews that disagree with you so that you can be prepared for their questions.

One of the great things about this book is you skip chapters. If you are in a situation where you witness to a Buddhist, you can read the chapter on Eastern Religions. If your friend expresses frustration with the suffering in the world, you can read the essay on pain and suffering and will hopefully glean something useful. That’s what this book is for—a reference. Not an all knowing here’s all the answer, but a good guide.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their [...] book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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