Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Book Review: Always Be Ready- A Call To Adventurous Faith

Introduction

Astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross is a well-known voice in the scientific and evangelical Christian communities for his scientific defenses of the Christian worldview. Over the last few decades, he has written incredible books powerfully defending the arguments for God's existence from the beginning and design of the universe. A few of my favorites have been:

The Creator and the Cosmos
Why The Universe Is The Way It Is
Improbable Planet

The primary focus of these books (and many of his others) have been on developing the arguments, presenting the evidence, and answering challenges from skeptics for the truth of Christianity. All these books contain pastoral elements that show how nature can be used to discover much about God's character and His purposes for His creation. They all provide Christians with the content to follow Peter's command in 1 Peter 3:15.

"Always Be Ready: A Call To Adventurous Faith" is Dr. Hugh Ross' latest apologetics book. Usually, Dr. Ross' published work focuses on the scientific evidence for the truth of Christianity, but this time he decided to do something different. In this book, he decided to focus on the apologetic influence of the evidences not only in his own life but in the lives of those he's evangelized. In this book, he takes stories from his decades of scientific research, evangelistic efforts, and pastoral experiences to show to the reader the breadth and depth of what Peter's command to "always be ready" means. Speaking primarily from his heart for those who are lost without Christ, Dr. Ross presents an engaging, encouraging, and essential book for those who wish to follow Peter's command to always be ready.

This review will follow my usual chapter-by-chapter format concluding with my thoughts about the book. Because Dr. Ross tells many stories that are most effective told in his own words, I have left out all spoilers. First, though let me start with a short video of Dr. Ross speaking about the book:


Always Be Ready Promo from RTB: MEDIA on Vimeo.

Now, on to the review:

Monday, August 13, 2018

Book Review: The Creator Revealed

Introduction

Today I am excited to bring you a review of a book that I have been anticipating for a little over a year and a half. In January 2017 particle physicist and University of Oklahoma professor Dr. Michael G. Strauss (check out his blog and YouTube channel) and I were talking, and he informed me that he had been working on a book about science and faith for a while. He gave me an overview of the content and even let me in on a sneak peek of the book. After reading through what was already "on paper," I was incredibly excited to see it published. Dr. Strauss' goal with "The Creator Revealed: A Physicist Examines the Big Bang and the Bible" was to provide the scientific, theological, and biblical evidence for the big bang in a non-technical and more conversational tone. The book is relatively short (126 pages, not counting the appendices) compared to other works on this topic, and the seventeen chapters are bite-sized. This review will be my usual chapter-by-chapter summary followed by my thoughts (as if the first line above didn't give you an indication). Before we get to the review, check out this interview with Dr. Strauss about science and faith and his experience with scientists and students:



Now, on to the book review...

Monday, July 2, 2018

Is There Meaning To Life?

Is There #Meaning to #Life?
Introduction
An interesting TED Talk came across my Facebook feed a few weeks ago. The talk focused on finding meaning in life. More and more people are discovering that pursuing happiness is leading them nowhere. They discover that every time they think that something obtainable or achievable will make them happy, once that has been obtained or achieved, that happiness lasts only for a short time. Then a discovery is made of something else that is greater than what they originally thought would make them happy, and they pursue that. This process repeats numerous times until they reach the top, then they realize that there is nothing left, yet they still feel unfulfilled. This TED Talk attempts to address that problem by positing that instead of pursuing happiness, people should pursue meaning. Here is a link to the talk, and I highly recommend that you watch it in full before continuing with this post: There's more to life than being happy- Emily Esfahani Smith.

On The Surface
The speaker recognizes the problems that the pursuit of happiness brings: unhappiness, unfulfillment, depression, and suicidal tendencies. The offered solution gives hope to those who are depressed and tired of the pursuit of happiness. From a pragmatic perspective of survival, this talk was quite encouraging and invigorating. However, regardless of the survival advantage that it provides if one believes the claims, if the claims in the talk do not reflect reality (are not true), then the person who believes them has traded the truth for a lie in the name of mere survival- a delusion that is evolutionarily necessary to believe if we wish to win the survival game. If the speaker is presenting a delusion, then, for those who value truth and knowledge as well as survival, the talk is truly as useless as the solution it wishes to supplant. So, for the sake of truth, the claims need to be investigated and analyzed at a deeper level.