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Monday, July 12, 2010

Book Review: Beyond Opinion by Ravi Zacharias

For the past few centuries the largest organized religion on the planet has been Christianity, which made it an easy target for philosophical salvos from skeptics, nihilists and atheists alike.
Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend

Unfortunately during that time, a lot of apologetics writing (a branch of theology dedicated to proving and defending Christianity) has been dominated by dusty language and tomes; circular logic and unimpassioned writers.

The luminary exceptions can be counted on two hands including such noted authors as C.S. Lewis, William Lane Craig, Richard Swineburn and Alvin Plantinga.

You can add to that short list of outstanding apologetic writers, Ravi Zacharias.

His book Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend is a supremely compelling collection of essays by a host of thoughtful writers that expertly cover a wide range of theological areas with fresh perspective and insights regarding the field of apologetics.

Most importantly, this book recognizes and addresses the dynamic shift that continues to occur within the Western culture, away from modernity (characterized by the proof-demanding skepticism originating from the Enlightenment Era) to a post-modern period that seeks to embrace spirituality (although not necessarily Christianity) as part of the human condition.

Regardless, Zacharias’ book helps feed both the faith and the mind of true seekers. Not only did he write more than a third of the book’s content, Zacharias (see photo insert below) deftly demonstrates his expert editorial eye to his colleagues’ work – reinforcing the adage that, "Great writing is the result of great editing."

This is a highly readable, relevant collection of worthwhile thought that is destined to become an apologetics classic, and it should be on the bookshelf of every critically-thinking individual or graduate, whether they are a believer or not – it’s just that good!

Ravi Zacharias signing books at the Future of ...Image via Wikipedia
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  1. Tor, the stack of books I would like to borrow seems to be growing!

  2. @Cheryl, that's funny! You got it!

  3. Hey Tor, thanks for being a Facebook follower of my blog! I hope you enjoy it. I'm a big fan of Ravi, but I haven't checked out this book. I just might have to put it in my queue, which is quite lengthy!

  4. You know I usually prefer the authors who where alive in 1902-thank God for Dad.
    If you like him I will read. He will go before Andrew Murray and Watchman.

  5. @Matt, thanks for posting a comment here! I look forward to tracking your posts at "The Church of No People" - such a provocative name for a blog, I couldn't NOT follow :-)

  6. @Anony, thanks for the vote of confidence! I see we have similar tastes in books - I'm a big fan of Andrew Murray. Thanks for taking the time to read the review and reply here!

  7. I've first saw Ravi speak about 10 years ago, and realized that he's just about the smartest person I've ever heard. I enjoy his podcast as well. Now, I guess I'll pick up the book! Thanks for posting,

  8. @Chris, where did you see him speak? He's been sole author on several other books that I would highly recommend as well.

  9. Tor - I saw Ravi speak at an Evangelism conference at Willow Creek in Chicago. It's the first time I ever heard of him and was amazed!

  10. @Chris, that is really cool - thanks for stopping by again for a command performance!