Answering questions about the Bible or God can feel overwhelming or frightening, but it shouldn’t have to be that way. Here are some books that can help.
The command we’re given in 1 Peter 3:15 is a challenging one. “In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…” (ESV).
First, we must believe that we’re following a worthwhile path, that our Lord is holy and good. Second, we’re called to be prepared with a ready defense for why we have hope (which also assumes that we’ve made room in our hearts for God to plant hope). Third, any debating or discussion we have is to be done with gentleness and respect, even though the opposition probably won’t afford us the same deference.
Having this ready answer feels harder and harder, though, in the age where postmodernism trumpets “Truth is dead” and anyone can google ‘facts’ about how the Bible isn’t historically accurate or Jesus was secretly gay on the internet.
With this in mind, I’m suggesting a few books for anyone who feels burdened to obey 1 Peter 3:15’s order and yet isn’t sure where to begin. Many great apologists and scholars have traveled this road before us and offer us the tools of their trade.
Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell
The truth of the Bible doesn't change, but its critics do. Josh McDowell knows this full well through his long work with Campus Crusade for Christ and other youth outreaches. He is joined in this book by his son who is an assistant professor of Christian apologetics at Biola University.
Together they provide an expansive defense of Christianity's core truths, evidence for the Bible as a historically accurate text, for Jesus Christ as God, for the Old Testament in all its complexity and prophesies, and for truth as a loadstone of our culture and personal lives.
This book offers responses to the Bible's most difficult and extraordinary passages. It is an invitation for us to bring our doubts and not shy away from the tough questions.
Making Sense of God by Timothy Keller
In this thoughtful book, Tim Keller points out all the reasons that skeptics (and believers) should consider Christianity more relevant than ever to our modern day.
We live in an age of cynicism. Our society places such faith in philosophy, historical progress and heartfelt emotion that some may wonder why anyone should believe in Christianity. As human beings, though, we cannot live without meaning, satisfaction, freedom, identity, justice, and hope. So idol worship continues today in the form of an addiction to money, careers, success, sex, power or anything that gives people a hint of the significance and satisfaction they would otherwise discover in God.
Keller discusses how God is the ultimate answer to our questions and the unlimited source of life. Written for both the ardent believer and the skeptic, Making Sense of God shines a light on the profound value and importance of Christianity in our lives.
The New Kind of Apologist edited by Sean McDowell
This collection of essays comes from 20 of the leading apologists in our times and hits some of the biggest, hot-button issues that believers are grappling with in the Western world today.
These seasoned faith leaders dive deep into how Christians can address a sexually broken culture — particularly transgender issues — as well as how to discuss religion with Muslims and how to connect our religious beliefs with economics and religious freedom. Above all, these writers believe that apologetics must be connected to the heart and that this will bring out a defense for our beliefs that is relational, gracious, and holistic.
This is not your standard apologetic tome with the comprehensive case for all of Christianity or a laborious study of every miniscule detail in a single cultural issue. The heart of this book is to increase the average believer’s effectiveness in apologetics.
Why Does God Allow Evil? by Clay Jones
If God is good and all-powerful, why doesn't he put a stop to the evil in the world? Many Christians struggle right alongside non-Christians with the concept of a loving God who allows widespread suffering in this life and never-ending punishment in hell. How often have we heard the questions, “Why do bad things happen to good people? How can eternal judgment be fair?”
Clay Jones, an associate professor of apologetics at Biola University, redefines this discussion with a new question: “What if the real problem of evil doesn’t start with God? What if it starts with us?”
Throughout this book, he examines the Bible for the true nature of evil and for answers about why God allows it. Along the way, he uncovers the contrasting abundance of God's grace, the overwhelming joy of heaven and the extraordinary destiny of believers as we move toward a future free from the shadow of evil.
The Ever-Loving Truth by Voddie Baucham
Currently working as a Bible instructor and missionary in Zambia, Voddie Baucham talks about how his particular path to Christ prepared him to speak to agnostic skeptics and questioning believers.
Raised in a non-Christian, single-parent home, Voddie did not hear the gospel until he was in college. His journey to faith was an unusual and intellectual one. Consequently, he understands what it's like to try to figure out the Christian life from scratch, and he addresses the questions of 'outsiders' in ways few other Bible teachers can.
Whether teaching on classical apologetic issues like the validity and historicity of the Bible or teaching on biblical manhood/womanhood, marriage and family, Voddie works to help people understand the significance of thinking and living biblically in every area of life.
Faith Answers is dedicated to preparing this generation and the next to have a rational defense for their faith. If you are interested in topics like this one or apologetics in general, please check out our webpage.