Many people throughout history have questioned the Christian story; wondered if the so-called greatest story ever told is not all it’s cracked up to be. When I was in college, I had my own mini-crisis of faith and wondered if I was a Christian because I believed the Bible was true or because I was reared in a Christian home. Dan Paterson and Rian Roux, who have years explaining and addressing these kinds of issues, wrote “Questioning Christianity: Is There More to the Story?” to guide seekers, skeptics, and new believers as they contemplate or embark on the faith journey.
Their goal with this book is to “explore the nature and relevance of the Christian story in an accessible and compelling way.” And the primary audience is new believers and seekers.
Questioning Christianity has three primary parts. In the first part of the book, the authors tell the story of the Bible from Eden to eternity. The second part explains what it means for us to step into the story and begin a relationship with God. And in the last part, they explore common questions or objections about the Christian story.
My first thought upon reading this book was that the title misled me. I got this book because I thought it would be about apologetics, but the questioning only came towards the end of the book. And it was relatively weak; I can’t imagine any skeptic being convinced by it. The other sections of the book were also too brief and could have gone slightly deeper.
I liked how Paterson and Roux explain the story of the Bible and simplify essential concepts of the Christian life. I found the second part of the book, which explains our role in the Christian story, quite valuable. New believers often struggle with what to do after confessing Christ, and the practical tips in this section should help. Notably, the book recommendations, though I think the authors could have suggested better books.
I was a bit perplexed by some of the theology in the book. Particularly this statement, “For when you consider the glory of God’s manifest presence, if He did not veil His glory, then the choice to worship Him would be irresistible. Whatever cosmic marriage to follow would be solely an arranged one, without the chance for us to decline.” It looks like the authors are saying we can reject God’s offer of salvation or that we choose God. As I hold to the doctrines of grace, I can’t entirely agree with that statement.
Overall, Questioning Christianity is somewhat interesting and might benefit a new believer, but I didn’t like it much and wouldn’t recommend it to a new believer.
Moody Publishers graciously gave me a complimentary copy and this is my honest review.