The unnamed assailant struck again, only this time he suggested that I read a book. But no, he wasn’t handing me something to counteract an error I had made or a position that needed to be confronted. He simply said I’d probably like the book he was offering. I told him I’d add it to the stack on my sofa, but couldn’t promise when I’d get to it. But, for some reason, perhaps because I value his opinions, the book found it’s way to the top of the stack.
The book is Unbelievable? by Justin Brierley. It’s subtitled “Why, after ten years of talking with atheists, I’m still a Christian.” The author is the host of a radio program of the same name in the United Kingdom.
The format of the program is simple; he invites an unbeliever and a believer to interact on the air. Sometimes the opposing views come from Christians, but most often they are between an atheist and a Christian. The show began in 2005 and included a call-in opportunity for listeners, but eventually became a recorded podcast that now has almost 2.5 million downloads a year.
Justin tries to keep his positions out of the broadcast conversations, but decided to put his convictions in print. The book is therefore an apologetic for the faith. And no, apologetics is not making apologies for the faith. The word comes from the Greek word for making a defense. It’s fulfilling the admonition found in I Peter 3:15 to always be ready to make a defense for our faith and to give an account for the hope that is in us.
In some ways this book reminds me of Letters from a Skeptic that we studied together several years ago. That book related the conversations between a believing son and a skeptical father. This one relates some very interesting interchanges that took place on the air.
I found the book to be enlightening, and a joy to read. I’ve included a couple of excerpts from the book inside today’s newsletter. I also have two unmarked copies in the office that you can borrow. Or, I’m sure you can borrow Jonathan’s highlighted copy. Oops!
God Bless, Rick