Monday, November 4, 2013

Review: How to Talk to a Skeptic by Donald J. Johnson

Review: How to Talk to a Skeptic
Donald J. Johnson
Bethany House Publishers

Finally!  Someone has finally said it---you have to know what you are talking about to speak intelligently to skeptics (and anyone else) about God, Jesus, Christianity and all the topics that surround that.   People are looking for real answers to questions.  Many of them anyway.  That means any Christian that wants to join the conversation has to have worked through what and why he holds the beliefs he does.  The Christian that wants to join the conversation must be aware of the world around them.  

What Johnson has done to give his readers an example of how that is done.  From his own admissions, it’s not an easy task.  In a first step his advice is not to be baited into an argument.  It is to be a conversation.  Start with some information as to where the skeptic is “coming from” or discover how his vision of how things are affect him.  Start where they are.  Many questions are legitimate, concerns valid, observations true.  Plan on spending some time working on this.   Be alert for a common point of reference, a point on which both of parties can agree.  Definitions of terms is a must.  Help them understand and discover things for themselves.  

Johnson works his way through most of the typical objections and charges that currently exist in the world of the skeptic, agnostic, or atheist. He identifies the holes in their arguments and logic.  He does the same for some common Christian positions too.  Along the way he suggests further reading that he found helpful in his learning process.  Remember he said it wasn’t easy.

This book should be helpful for nearly any one looking to improve his skills.  But, I think the most important thing this book has to offer is the challenge to the Christian community to look at what it is to be Christian.

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for review.

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