I found this book a convenient, all in one family resource for introducing world religions and the specialness of Christianity. It systematically introduces us to our basic need to believe in something, then explores where our faith can find a true and trustworthy resting place.
It can be incredibly difficult to state even basic information about a group of people so they all agree with you. Yet, this is the task Pamela Christian assigned herself here. After briefly sharing her own faith journey (ending in the Bible and Jesus Christ), she takes us through a course in major world religions. Next introducing us to people who were dissatisfied with each example given, leading them to Jesus Christ. The last section of the book presents reasons we can trust our fate to the God of the Bible.
Reading this book with families in mind, I was quite pleased with her handling of some delicate topics. Pamela Christian’s treatment of the other major beliefs (including Secular Humanism) came across as even handed and fair, but not worded in such a way as to make them seem more appealing than Jesus.
Her opening chapter was a little misleading when she stated that she was going to leave the choice of what faith we liked best up to each of us. In one sense this is always true and doesn’t need to be added. But usually people who claim this are following an “anything goes, so I don’t care” mentality. Mrs. Christian strongly disagrees with such thinking!
I especially enjoyed the section devoted to the answers various religions give for the Big Questions: for example, on the Question Of Evil. The book gives a short overview of major religions take on evil (does it even exist?) and then gives the Christian position. A few things she put in I would adjust slightly (the creation didn’t become “sin” when Adam ate the fruit, it became tainted, corrupted, infected by sin), but the over arching reasoning is clear and orthodox.
Her handling of Genesis is delicate and seems to be carefully worded to not offend either long-age creationists or Biblical ones. This isn’t surprising considering she attended Biola. But you won’t find anything to weaken your family’s confidence in the plain reading of Scripture. Evolution is addressed, but only as one of the tenets of Secular Humanism.
The last section of the book covers many Biblical and extrabiblical proofs for the Scripture’s trustworthiness. Several topics are covered in some detail providing a good primer for people starting out on a Biblical apologetics journey.
I wish she hadn’t been quite so dogmatic about several of the fulfilled prophecies. That they were fulfilled is beyond question, but from what I’ve read the precise dates she gives (such as for the crucifixion) are falsifiable in a way I don’t think she intended. Why expose people to danger if they hear the information they were told isn’t actually true and have their faith unnecessarily shaken?
All in all, Examine Your Faith is a straightforward, easy to use family resource for worldview and apologetics I am delighted to have run into. It would be safe to hand the book to a young person as soon as they are ready to look beyond their own upbringing (reading level 12 and up). Of course, a book like this is ideal to read and discuss as a family. The chapters are short enough to just about cover in a single session if you don’t get to talking too much (like my family would!).
You can follow Pamela Christian on:
Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/pamelachristian/
There’s even a Giveaway!
The author is giving away one copy of Examine Your Faith! and a $25 Gift Card to Amazon or Paypal for one blessed reader. U.S. addresses only. Please use the Rafflecopter below to be entered:
The winner will be chosen from those entries and announced November 15, 2013.
Disclosure: I’d never heard of Pamela Christian until being provided with a free copy of Examine Your Faith! to review. She sent me one even knowing I could have told you all it was terrible if I wanted to. 😀