Apologetics Book Review – Smooth Stones by Joe Coffey

This Book Rocks

Here’s my review of a quick read that packs a punch. It’s called, Smooth Stones: Bringing Down the Giant Questions of Apologetics by Joe Coffey.

This book covers key ideas you’d expect to find in an intro to apologetics–but without a lot of the jargon we’ve become so accustom to. Especially if you’ve been around the discipline for a while, you might forget that terms like “worldview,” “a priori,” “theodicy” and of course, “apologetics” can be confusing. I hate to see that look that says, “I knew it. This whole apologetics thing is just way too deep. Maybe this isn’t for me.” That’s why I’m always on the lookout for something like this.

I like how Joe uses a cake to illustrate how God is the best explanation for the fine-tuning of the universe:

Cakes have bakers and bakers have recipies…Picture the universe as a cake and ask if there is evidence for a recipie. If there is, chances are, there would be a baker to go with it (26).

Clever. If you’re like me, you’ll enjoy the everyday ideas he uses to explain heady concepts for people who aren’t science-types. For example, he explains the Law of Entropy by saying, “I prefer to call it the Law of Your Kid’s Room.” Kids never say, “the wind was blowing really hard and the room cleaned itself!”

Smooth Stones has six easy chapters you can read in about 10 minutes a piece.

  1. Is There a God?
  2. Does Science Disprove God’s Existence?
  3. Is the Bible Authentic and True?
  4. The Question of Evil and Suffering
  5. Aren’t All Religions the Same?
  6. Is Jesus for Real?

Norman Geisler says, “Most books on apologetics are too long, too deep and too complicated. This book has none of those defects. Like its title, it is like a smooth stone from David’s apologetic sling directed right to the mind of an enquiring reader.” Interesting metaphor. If you’re totally new to these ideas, a few of them may stun you. Hopefully, they don’t knock you out entirely!

Joe’s got a couple of great epilogues to finish out the book—one for non-believers and another for Christians. I especially appreciate the advice he gives apologists: Never stray from the gospel. Pray. Glorify God.

I read this book by the community pool and still had time for a dip. This is a super-short, super-accessible book (112 pages) that delivers what it promises: “Street-level apologetics for everyday Christians.” Look inside this book on Amazon.com 

Note: I received a free review copy of this book from Cruciform Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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6 Responses to “Apologetics Book Review – Smooth Stones by Joe Coffey”

  1. A.Marie July 5, 2011 12:03 PM
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    I checked out the description; I believe that this is a book that gets the point across without alot of “fluff and stuff.” This is a book that I could probably actually read and understand most of it!

  2. Lisa July 6, 2011 5:22 PM
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    Sounds like a great read for a simpleton like me!

  3. Apologetics Guy July 7, 2011 9:20 PM
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    A.Marie, it really does. I like how his examples are easy to remember. It makes it easy to use these talking points in your own interactions with your friends. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Apologetics Guy July 7, 2011 9:22 PM
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    Thanks for checking out my review, Lisa. Smooth Stones is an excellent intro to this whole “defending the faith” thing. You’ll love this.

  5. John D. Miller August 30, 2011 5:41 AM
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    I like this:
    “Cakes have bakers and bakers have recipes…Picture the universe as a cake and ask if there is evidence for a recipe. If there is, chances are, there would be a baker to go with it”

    “Cakes have bakers and bakers have recipes and recipes need time.
    Picture the Universe as a cake that was baked in time, and we are the cherry on the cake.”

    No Time, No Cake, No Universe, No Nothing.

  6. Apologetics Guy August 30, 2011 7:57 AM
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    Hi John,

    Thanks for your comment. What do you mean by that? The universe couldn’t have been created “in time.: Modern cosmology holds that all matter, space and even time did not exist before the Big Bang.

    And of course cakes take time. But it doesn’t matter if something was made slowly or quickly or what the steps were in creating life on earth. The design we see on earth can’t be fully explained by undirected chance. On a naturalistic view, why would be be the cherry? On a naturalistic view, such a comment would be arbitrary. Why would we be special at all?

    You might be interested in how this quote is used in the chapter. You might enjoy the book!

    -Mikel