Donald T. Williams, The Young Christian’s Survival Guide: Common Questions Young Christians Are Asked about God, the Bible, and the Christian Faith Answered (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2019), $12.95, 139 pp., pbk.
ME: I’m going to interview myself? How does that work?
MYSELF: You ask yourself questions and then try to answer them.
ME: OK, tell me about this new book. Why do we need one more popular book on apologetics?
MYSELF: Because the landscape keeps changing. The truth of the Gospel remains the same, but the questions we have to be prepared to answer in order to get a hearing for it shift. When I was young we only had to mount a straightforward defense of the Bible’s truthfulness. Now you still have to deal with that, but today’s skeptics are much more likely not to care about the Bible’s historical accuracy because they are convinced that it is an immoral book. It supports genocide, racism, slavery, male chauvinism, homophobia, etc. in their eyes. You’re not so much naïve if you base your life on it as immoral! I find that many Christian young people, even those who are interested in apologetics and can defend the Bible from the old charges, get caught flat-footed by some of these new challenges.
ME: Who is the audience for this book?
MYSELF: Christian young people first of all: high-school and college students who want help in answering the questions that come from their secular friends, or who are troubled by those questions themselves. Then, just as importantly, those who work with those Christian young people: Youth leaders, pastors, and parents. It could serve as a textbook in a senior high-level apologetics class in a Christian school or for a college-level apologetic class as well. I tried to write it in such a way that it will be accessible to questioning youth but edifying and useful to those who are older. Some at least of both groups think I succeeded.
ME: What are some of the questions you deal with?
MYSELF: Each chapter title is a question we need to be prepared to answer if we are going to give a reason for the hope that is in us effectively today. I start with the most basic questions: Why should we believe the bible and why should we believe that Jesus rose from the dead to substantiate His claim to be the Messiah? It turns out that each of those answers is the key to the other. Then we look at questions about the nature of the Bible and how we relate to it. How for example do we know which books belong in it? Then we move to questions about how modern (or post-modern) people can believe in a religion that claims to have absolute truth and a supernatural God. Finally we deal with those aspects of the Bible’s teaching that strike our contemporaries as positively evil. What does the Bible really teach about racism, sexism, etc.? The answers may be shocking to bot h its friends and its enemies, but they are the only path to real human thriving because they come from the God who made us and gave us purpose.
ME: What do you want people to get out of this book?
MYSELF: I want them to believe in Jesus with new confidence, love Him with new fervency, and share Him with new boldness, to the glory of God.
ME: How can people get ahold of this book?
MYSELF: The easiest way is through Amazon. Here are the links: