Know Why You Believe

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Why do you believe what you believe? This is a question that all Christians must grapple with at some point in their life. Whether you are a teenager posing questions as you “come of age,” a college student being challenged with a secular worldview for the first time, or an adult facing some difficult questions at work or home, everyone must wrestle through these important questions and know why you believe.

A New Book

Theologians call this topic of studying why we believe, or providing reasonable answers for our faith, apologetics. There are many helpful resources on this topic by many trusted authors. But one new book that I want to commend to you is part of Zondervan’s excellent Know series. The latest volume in that series is called Know Why You Believe by K. Scott Oliphint, professor of apologetics and systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary.

Oliphint has studied and taught on this topic of apologetics for years. What we have here in this new volume is the fruit of his years of work, resulting in a very readable, accessible guide to helping everyday Christians understand why they believe what they believe.

Who Is This Book For?

No matter what stage of life you are in, we have all experienced challenging questions to our Christian faith. Perhaps these questions have come from an atheist professor, an inquisitive friend, or even your own doubting heart. There is nothing wrong with questions. Questions are good and healthy for us as Christians to better understand what we believe and why we believe it. But when these questions turn, as they often do, into objections against Christianity and against the God of the Bible — taking the clear teachings of God in His Word and explaining it away — that is when you enter into dangerous territory. As the author reminds us in this volume:

“Every objections comes with a refusal to trust what God has said. That refusal to trust God is always accompanied by a trust in something or someone else. In the end, it is accompanied by an unwavering trust in ourselves. The only proper way to face the objets that come to us is by knowing God better. We do that when we know his Word better, and when we meditate on its consequences” (212).

The Structure

What you have in this volume, then, is the author’s attempt to help you, the reader, know God and His Word better. After the introduction, the author looks at 10 topics and asks, “Why do we believe this?” In each of the chapters, the author gives reasons why Christians believe what they believe as well as objections from those who challenge our reasons for believing what we do. At the end of each chapter, Oliphint gives questions for personal reflection and recommended resources for further reading on that particular topic.

So what are the 10 topics discussed in this book? They are as follows:

  1. Why Believe in the Bible?
  2. Why Believe in God?
  3. Why Believe in Jesus?
  4. Why Believe in Miracles?
  5. Why Believe Jesus Rose from the Dead?
  6. Why Believe in Salvation?
  7. Why Believe in Life After Death?
  8. Why Believe in God in the Face of Modern Science?
  9. Why Believe in God Despite the Evil in the World?
  10. Why Believe in Christianity Alone?

As you see from this list of the 10 topics discussed, these are some of the most important and most asked questions from Christians and non-Christians alike. Though you will not find an extensive, full-orbed treatment of each topic, you will find a great foundation for answering each question, as well as guidance for studying a topic further if you desire.

Conclusion

In Know Why You BelieveK. Scott Oliphint offers a great help to Christians of all ages and background as he answers the “why” questions that both Christians and non-Christians often ask. It is as important now, as ever, for Christians to be able to compellingly and convincingly understand and be able to explain why they believe what they believe. This new book is an excellent, short, concise, and readable introduction to allow readers of all types to know why they believe.

In accordance with FTC regulations, I would like to thank Zondervan Publishers for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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