by Marty B | I’m not quite done with C.C., but will finish today. It is a solid read, a fun book for a Christian to absorb and in a fun way, makes us confront today’s secular world’s skepticism about a faith that has been answering similar questions for 2000 years.
I don’t claim to be a book reviewer. In fact, I usually don’t write reviews of books – love ’em or hate ’em – due to time constraints. But when I DO review a book, I usually don’t thoroughly read every word, every chapter. I read the opening chapter or two, skip around, get a sense of where the author and story are going, confirm my intuition with a random stab or two at deeper sections of the tome, then write my thoughts. I wanted to do this approach with CONFRONTING CHRISTIANITY, but got drawn in very early into Rebecca McLaughlin’s writing style and the way she treated her material.
The premise of C.C. is that Christianity has become a whipping post for secular humanists and that their criticisms require answers. McLaughlin provides answers to some very challenging questions. Doesn’t Christianity degrade women? Isn’t this faith outdated by science? How can we literally take the Bible at its word? How could a loving God send people to hell?
If a Christian is unprepared to answer these and other questions, what will happen to our faith in another generation or two into the future? Ms. McLaughlin not only provides answers; she documents – like a PhD would be expected to – the supporting evidence.
I mentioned that I failed at skipping around this book to get a summary of where the author is going. This is because the book reads like a crime novel to me. Despite my own Christian beliefs, I half-believed many of the charges against Christianity posed in the author’s 12 questions. Or – more likely – never confronted them with my own research and response. Ms. McLaughlin fairly presents the questions / arguments that suppose Christianity is on the wane, quoting sources that support the claim. But then, she pauses, catches a breath and presents the facts that support the Christian religion and documents her answers. Despite my desire to finish the book quickly in my hit-and-run assault on the contents, I put aside all my other books for a couple of days and concentrated my energy on this can’t-put-down book. (OK, who among us only reads one book at a time? Yeah – I didn’t think so!)
I’m not quite done with C.C., but will finish today. It is a solid read, a fun book for a Christian to absorb and in a fun way, makes us confront today’s secular world’s skepticism about a faith that has been answering similar questions for 2000 years.
About the Author
Rebecca McLaughlin holds a PhD in renaissance literature from Cambridge University and a theology degree from Oak Hill College in London. She is cofounder of Vocable Communications and former vice president of content at the Veritas Forum, where she spent almost a decade working with Christian academics at leading secular universities.
Rebecca grew up in London and she met her husband, Bryan, when they were both in grad school at Cambridge. Bryan comes from Oklahoma and they now live in Cambridge Massachusetts, with their three children.
- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Crossway Books (April 7, 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1433564238
- ISBN-13: 978-1433564239
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
Christianity is the most widespread global belief system, and promises to remain so well into the future. But for many educated westerners, biblical Christianity is a dangerous idea―challenging some of their deepest beliefs.
Channeling state-of-the-art research, personal stories, and careful biblical study, Confronting Christianity explores 12 questions that keep many of us from considering faith in Christ. Look more closely, McLaughlin argues, and the reality of suffering, the complexity of sexuality, the desire for diversity, the success of science, and other seeming roadblocks to faith become signposts. Jesus becomes not a relic from the ancient world, but our modern world’s best hope.
“This book is compelling reading, not only because of its intellectual rigor and the fact that it is beautifully written but also because of its honest, empathetic humanity. Readers will find themselves expertly guided on a journey that involves them not only in confronting Christianity but also in confronting themselves―their worldviews, hopes, fears, failures, and search for identity and satisfaction―and, finally, in confronting Christ as the altogether credible source of life as God means it to be.”
―John C. Lennox, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, University of Oxford
“McLaughlin probes some of the trickiest cultural challenges to Christianity of our day and clearly demonstrates the breadth and richness of a Christian response. Confronting Christianity is well worth reading and pondering.”
―Tyler J. VanderWeele, John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the Human Flourishing Program, Harvard University
“In the West, many people are persuaded by dominant secular narratives and think they already know what Christianity is about. In this bombshell of a book packed with myth-busting statistics, McLaughlin reveals the many surprises in authentic Christianity.”
―Peter J. Williams, Principal, Tyndale House, Cambridge; author, Can We Trust the Gospels?
“A deep and caring response to current criticisms and confrontations of the Christian faith fills Rebecca McLaughlin’s book. She speaks from real-life experience of the personal and intellectual challenges we encounter today in considering the claims of Jesus Christ. Her open and faithful answers to serious questions provide not an easy stroll through imagined virtual reality but an adventurous rocky pathway through true and abundant life.”
―Ian Hutchinson, Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; author, Can a Scientist Believe in Miracles?
“Apologetics with heart, discernment, empathy, and rigorous study. Confronting Christianity will help you understand the hard questions of the Christian faith while also igniting a love for neighbor. McLaughlin doesn’t shy away from tough questions about diversity and the nations, as well as slavery and facing America’s past and present. Her answers are not only insightful; they have the potential to transform a heart of stone to a heart of flesh. Take up and read.”
―Trillia Newbell, author, If God Is For Us; Fear and Faith; and United
“Rebecca McLaughlin refuses to duck the biggest challenges to the Christian faith and takes on the hardest questions with empathy, energy, and understanding. She has studied widely, thinks deeply, and argues very persuasively. This is an outstanding resource for the skeptic, the doubter, and anyone who is ready to engage with some compelling thinking.”
―Sam Allberry, Speaker, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries; author, Is God Anti-Gay? and 7 Myths about Singleness
“Rebecca McLaughlin’s defense of the Christian faith is what all defenses should be: sensitive, smart, and sound. This is apologetics done right―and exactly right for this age in which we live. Confronting Christianity is a book I will draw upon myself and will recommend widely to believers and skeptics alike.”
―Karen Swallow Prior, author, On Reading Well and Fierce Convictions
“Rebecca McLaughlin addresses the most frequent and pressing objections to Christianity in our time with unflinching honesty, rigorous clarity, and deep compassion. This book is written not merely for skeptics but also for those who have suffered much in this sin-sick, destructive world. It is brimming with hope and will surprise you―and likely change the way you think about Jesus.”
―Jon Bloom, Cofounder, Desiring God; author, Not by Sight
“What Christianity has to offer the world is bound up in its strangeness. Only a distinctive word can be truly good news in a world like this. In a secularizing age, though, Christianity is often not simply odd to the world but also unexplained and seemingly inexplicable. In this book, Rebecca McLaughlin takes seriously both the Bible and the questions of nonbelievers. If you’re a non-Christian and have wondered why Christians think and do as they do, this book will be a good start to exploring those questions. If you’re a believer, this book will not only equip you intellectually but also call you to compassion and empathy for your questioning, unbelieving neighbor, as well as prepare you to bear witness to the Light that has come into the world.”
―Russell D. Moore, President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
“A fresh voice, arresting arguments, and an easy-to-read style. McLaughlin writes for curious thinkers everywhere, and handsomely repays the open-minded reader.”
―Os Guinness, author, The Call
Author: Marty B
Retired or just resting? | Sierra foothills, California