Saturday, December 21, 2013
Book Review: Donald J. Johnson's How to Talk to a Skeptic
Summary: We've all known someone who is a skeptic. Whether it's someone else or yourself. Johnson provides a nicely laid out book that explains an approach to your faith that may not only explain it well to someone else, but also will give you more security in what you believe. He begins with simple advice, and builds on the advice from there to be more complex in how you approach someone who is uncertain or an unbeliever. Overall, Johnson makes a good point about why people are rejecting the faith, and that may not be based on scientific evidence at all, but the presentation they've been given by others who claim the same faith.
Characters: The good thing about Johnson is that he doesn't let the story get bogged down in a lot of emotions. For real, he just is very too the point without many examples to set up a point. Because Johnson refers more to the Bible it does help a lot with giving certain circumstances you can derive from the scriptures. Despite what anyone thinks of the Bible it still is the main thing to derive from when forming your worldview. I can see why some people could think this approach could come off very arrogant though as it has from other apologetics. Johnson tries to offer a more graceful approach that encourages believers to ask questions to skeptic, and understand what grounds them to their worldview.
Writing: The biggest obstacle for me was the writing. I felt that it does get very long winded on a point that is summed up in the bold font to begin it. Since this book seems like it is best marketed to those who have less of an understanding of apologetics it does get highly involved with using terms that can go over your head unless you studied it. The writer does good about keeping the topic humble though, and regardless of what you think I thought his reasoning that he gives are very strong hold.
Plot: There were some really interesting points that the author points out in his book regarding common traits among those who believe differently than Christians. I like how Johnson also points out that a Christian trying to live the lifestyle modeled for them really does have difficulty, and it can make life a bit uncomfortable to live. If a Christian is trying to live the lifestyle it most likely has crossed your mind that it seems it would almost be easier to be without faith. The whole point of someone living the faith though is because they truly believe it to be true, which is another point that Johnson makes.
I don't know if this book will convert any skeptic into not being a skeptic, but it will at least give someone who is a Christian something more substantial in their knowledge of their faith. Also, if you do happen to find a skeptic who seems to have a weak foundation for why they are the way they are, then this also gives some techniques to sort of shield from what they might throw at you. I've experienced it without seeking it before.
Rating 7 of 10.
This book was provided by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review.