At some point in the Christian life every believer will have to consider some hard questions related to their faith. These questions may arise from within as a believer begins to live out his or her faith in the real world. Often these questions arise externally in conversations with others such as friends, co-workers, or family members who do not share the Christian worldview. When these questions come, the Christian is introduced to the world of apologetics.
Books on apologetics and answering hard questions related to the Christian faith are nothing new. Works from popular authors like Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel have attempted to give believers and the spiritually curious solid answers to challenging topics such as the the existence of God, the reliability of the Bible, the historicity of Jesus, and the presence of evil and suffering in our world. So what does a book like Bill Kynes’ Seven Pressing Questions add to the conversation?
If the reader is looking for a fresh perspective or uncharted territory in the realm of Christian apologetics he won’t find it here. Kynes’ seven questions are some of the most frequently asked and addressed. These questions include the rationality of belief in the God of the Bible, the historical Jesus and the implication of his claims, the trustworthiness of the Biblical text, the apparent problems of human suffering and the biblical teaching on eternal punishment, and finally the oft noted hypocrisy of Christian believers.
One of the greatest strengths of Kynes’ book is that he admits freely that these are indeed difficult–though not impossible–questions to answer. Such humility goes a long way with readers seeking trustworthy answers to strengthen their hope rather than pat and dismissive answers from ivory tower philosophers. It’s clear that Kynes’ aim is not to merely provide a response that will shut up an objector, rather he walks with the reader toward an answer that sufficiently addresses the real concern and leaves them in place where they can begin to form their personal conviction. Ultimately Kynes’ concern is more pastoral than academic, seeking to direct the conversation toward its most important end–the gospel of Jesus Christ.
At 150 pages, including a set of discussion questions at the end, Kynes’ book is easily approachable for most readers. This doesn’t mean that the chapters are watered down. Kynes discusses matters related to history, philosophy, Christian theology, and biblical studies in a way that the average church-attender or spiritual-seeker could fully understand. This book would be a helpful resource in contexts ranging from an adult Sunday School class to a one-on-one conversation with a spiritual curious friend. Seven Pressing Questions won’t replace classic works like McDowell’s More than a Carpenter or Strobel’s The Case for Christ, but it is certainly worthy of occupying the same space on a bookshelf.