Book Review: Truth Matters: Confident Faith in a Confusing World



Truth Matters: Confident Faith in a Confusing World by Kostenberger, Bock, and Chatraw

This was an awesome book that I picked up for $0.99 on Kindle.  You really can’t beat less than a dollar!  I’d definitely recommend this book to two distinct groups of people.  The first group would be people who are skeptical of the Bible.  This book does a masterful job of proving the historocity and scientific background for Scripture as it lines up with accepted secular history.  The second group would be those that are just heading off to college or other environments where they will encounter challenges to their faith.  The book is a quick read and provides lots of opportunities for highlighting and underlining resources that you will want to reference.

I posted my highlights below…

  • “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” —J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
  • What do you do when the Bible goes from being the answer to being the question?
  • The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him. Proverbs 18:17
  • an appealing narrative does not negate the role of truth as being the ultimate arbiter between competing lines of thought.
  • Tolerance has become such a god in our culture that not to have it is heresy. The effect is that tolerance swallows up truth, negating any need to search for things that might offend or challenge our preferences.
  • Fact: Plenty of credible scholars have looked at the same arguments your professor may be making and arrived at far different conclusions. You are not as alone as some would have you think.
  • Believing in Christ and accepting the Bible as his true Word is not automatic anti-intellectualism. The Bible doesn’t ask us to adopt a BLIND faith but a REASONED faith—a faith that can honestly ask the hard questions and then go out in search of real, measurable, credible answers.
  • The Bible was written with the assumption that we are the rational and spiritual beings God made us to be, giving us the created dignity of marrying our belief with reason. Christian faith is true not only because we really want to believe it but also because the truth it believes is the most plausible of all explanations.
  • Faith and reason—even the presence of tough, legitimate questions—can all be friends on the side of authentic Christianity.
  • Just because you can’t see or imagine a good reason why God might allow something to happen doesn’t mean there can’t be one. Again we see lurking within this supposed hard-nosed skepticism an enormous faith in one’s own cognitive faculties. If our minds can’t plumb the depths of the universe for good answers to suffering, well, then, there can’t be any! This is blind faith of a high order. —Tim Keller
  • to come away believing there is no God since God does not appear good (as we define good) assumes an absolute moral framework which, if God were absent, would not be there at all. Underline that.
  • our knowledge is still partial—so partial, in fact, that not only are we acting above our pay grade to accuse God of treating us wrongly, we actually don’t know how much worse our suffering could be if not for God’s mercy and control.
  • God’s incarnation in Christ has already done his explaining for him. When he sent his Son to suffer, he made the boldest statement of all about suffering.
  • Most of people’s doubts about God in relation to suffering stem from two taproots: (1) a refusal to see God as having divine rights over his creation, and (2) a minimization of the extent of human rebellion against our Creator.
  • The harsh, hurting reality we feel within ourselves and see in the world around us is not the way life should be.
  • Here’s how the Bible describes what’s coming: Jesus Christ, who chose to die for us “while we were still sinners” (Rom. 5:8), has gone away to “prepare a place” for his people (John 14:2)—“a new heaven and a new earth” where he will “wipe away every tear,” where “death will no longer exist,” and where “grief, crying, and pain” will never darken our door again. The old experiences of suffering and evil will represent “the previous things,” and they will all “have passed away” (Rev. 21:1, 4). And since eternal paradise is what everyone hopes for, perhaps this sense that even the skeptics feel about the brokenness of our current condition is in some way pointing all of us toward a day when God will make all things right.
  • There’s value—even virtue—in the diversity. And nowhere does it spell actual disagreement.
  • don’t just read the words. Check the context.
  • He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together. (Col. 1:15–17)
  • So that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow—of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth—and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:10–11)
  • Words are alive. They keep going.
  • And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers. (Acts 2:42)
  • Now I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause dissensions and obstacles contrary to the doctrine you have learned. Avoid them. (Rom. 16:17)
  • Hold on to the pattern of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who lives in us, that good thing entrusted to you. (2 Tim. 1:13–14)
  • “Each year at Easter I get to preach on the Resurrection. In my sermon I always say to my skeptical, secular friends, that even if they can’t believe in the resurrection, they should want it to be true. Most of them care deeply about justice for the poor, alleviating hunger and disease, and caring for the environment. Yet, many of them believe that the material world was caused by accident and that the world and everything in it will eventually simply burn up in the death of the sun. They find it discouraging that so few people care about justice without realizing that their own worldview undermines any motivation to make the world a better place. Why sacrifice for the needs of others if in the end nothing we do will make any differences? If the resurrection of Jesus happened, however, that means there’s infinite hope and reason to pour ourselves out for the needs of the world.” Tim Keller
  • Reasoned faith is all-purpose faith.
  • You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32

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