Truth Matters – Confident Faith in a Confusing World

Speaking of Faith

When I was a student ministries pastor in Northern California, a parent in our church gave me a book called, Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers. According to the authors, most teens aren’t well-equipped to talk about their faith or spiritual things in general. This was something I saw almost every week, both at church and on the public school campuses in our community.

Clearly, the church as a whole hasn’t done a great job helping students out in this area. As someone who continues to work with college students today, I totally get how Christian teens (and many of their parents) often feel unprepared for the intellectual challenges they hear on campus—especially at the college level.

Truth Matters

TruthMattersDarrellBockThat’s why I’m so excited about a new book called Truth Matters by Andreas Köstenberger, Darrell Bock, and Josh Chatraw. In this post, I’ll tell you what’s cool about this little green book, what I think the most important parts are and how you can score a signed copy for free! 

But first, here’s why I’m stoked about Truth Matters. It’s a very accessible apologetics book that’s tailored for high school students preparing to head off to college. Although there are other good apologetics books for teens, this one is special because it helps orient teens to the most common critiques of God and the Bible–especially the kinds of challenges popularized by scholars like Bart Ehrman.

Top Three Issues

I recently sat down with Darrell Bock and talked about some of the top intellectual challenges Christian students face in college. I asked him what he personally sees as the top three issues covered in Truth Matters, given the amount of time he spends speaking at student events around the nation. He pointed me to these three:

Let’s Make a Bible – Who Picked These Books and Where’d They Come From?

This chapter looks at the Gnostic writings and alleged forgery in the Bible. It demonstrates how the New Testament canon “had already been forming on its own–and had actually been closed to newcomers–for generations,” (47) way before the church meetings that happened in the AD 300s.

Contradictions, Contradictions – Why Does My Bible Have All These Mistakes?

This chapter helps you respond to the challenge that the Bible contradicts itself, focusing on the distinction between diversity and disagreement. “Any historical account is by nature selective” (75) and you’ll see why difference and historical developments don’t necessarily equal a slam-dunk Bible contradiction. There’s a unity in diversity going on here.

And the Winner Is… – Who Decided What Christianity Was Made Of?

Did one group of Christians just declare themselves right and everyone else heretics back in the day? This chapter helps you see what your church has in common with the early church, cut through the conspiracy and get the rest of the story. “Christian doctrines and beliefs…trace all the way back to what people saw and heard and experienced in the physical presence of Jesus” (156).

I agree. These chapters alone are worth getting the book. They can help you show that intellectual challenges don’t undercut the trustworthiness of the core story. Truth Matters can also help you draw listeners into a spiritual conversation based on where they are at. In fact, many of the issues in this book are the exact ones that often come up in college courses on philosophy or religion.

Who will love this?

Students, parents, pastors, and youth leaders. But it’s really for everybody. In another interview on Truth Matters, Darrell Bock says:

“It’s really written for anybody, and in my view it’s really the rest of the story. It’s often what you don’t hear the culture saying about Christianity that the culture should be aware of.”

But it’s especially good for students in college because:

“They’re going to hear a lot of things about Christianity when they’re on the college campuses. If they’ve grown up in the church, especially the conservative church, most of what they hear will be news to them. And in some cases, it could be unsettling news. So, knowing what they’re hearing isn’t the only angle on what they’re hearing is very, very important.”

This book is a rising star in the apologetics titles on Amazon. And for good reason. I loved reading Truth Matters. I actually tried taking notes on one section and ended up almost retyping the page because there was so much good stuff.

I suggest getting a copy for teens you know are heading off to college. Youth pastors, consider getting these for all your high school juniors and seniors as grad gifts!

Full Disclosure: I was given a personal copy of this book by Darrell Bock, who I work for at my part-time job as a Cultural Engagement Fellow in the Hendricks Center for Christian Leadership and Cultural Engagement at Dallas Theological Seminary. I was not asked to write a review. My opinions are my own. In fact, the whole giveaway thing was my idea to help get the word out about Truth Matters. The following promotion is not associated with the Hendricks Center, Dallas Theological Seminary or B&H Publishing. See official rules for details.

Enter the Giveaway

OK. So here’s the part about how you can score a free, signed copy of Truth Matters: Darrell Bock is sponsoring a Truth Matters giveaway right here on my blog. Yup, he donated a book and he’ll even sign it for the winner. To enter, just use the widget below. Earn as many entries as you like. Don’t forget you can tweet this giveaway every day! a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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14 Responses to “Truth Matters – Confident Faith in a Confusing World”

  1. Debi Martin March 24, 2014 7:00 AM
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    I had seen this book and it looks very interesting!

  2. Jon March 24, 2014 7:05 AM
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    I am really looking forward to reading this book. I was on the fence about whether or not I would pick up a copy, but reading your review has definitely pushed me over the fence. ;) When I was a high school senior, I read a book called How to Stay a Christian in College by J. Budziszewski, and it was great at giving me some pointers about my walk with God. However, after my first year in college, I realized that some of my friends had fallen away from the faith because of some of the arguments that are refuted in Truth Matters. I wish this resource had been available when I was a teen because of the amazing truth it presents and the exposure it gives its reader to some of the bigger arguments against our faith.

    So excited to read it… I just have to survive this semester first.

  3. Justin Cook March 24, 2014 7:27 AM
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    Wow – really looking forward to giving this book away. Kids know they need apologetics and are looking for places to find good arguments – thanks to the authors for making this readily available to our youth!

  4. Zak Schmoll March 28, 2014 7:32 PM
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    I think chapter 2 is interesting. It sounds like it will be an exploration of the problem of evil which is always a thought-provoking topic

  5. A.G. Holdier April 6, 2014 9:47 PM
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    Chapter One looks like a most unique way to start off a book! It makes a good deal of sense to admit that the skeptical position is often enticing before one tries to correct it. Meet the problem on sensible ground before going on to attack it – almost like two samurai bowing to each other before they fight.

  6. Reuben Urias April 10, 2014 2:14 PM
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    From my experience in working with youth and street evangelism, I think Chapter 3 is very important. It’s amazing how many people have so many opinions on the bible and it’s reliability without even having a basic working knowledge on the background to this issue.

  7. G Hawes April 15, 2014 8:44 AM
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    I just heard one of the authors speak about the content of the book and it is excellent material. I’m eager to get the book for myself and my kids.

  8. Mara April 18, 2014 8:56 AM
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    really looking forward to reading this and if I like it sharing copies.
    All the chapters look good, but “And the Winner is…” piques my curiousity the most…

  9. Lisa April 23, 2014 9:43 PM
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    This looks good! Hope to win!

  10. Ron Cram April 25, 2014 1:25 PM
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    I survey university students every week. I tend to come across students whose intellectual doubts are more likely to come from science. I hear things like “Science has disproven the Bible” and “You Christians have to believe the universe is only 6,000 years old and that’s just laughable.”

    But I agree that it is important to have an answer to people to attack the Bible. This looks to be a good contribution. I look forward to reading it.

  11. Delores Liesner April 29, 2014 11:08 AM
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    I enjoy all your blogs, so I know I would enjoy the book. Chapter 1 might help me understand others’ viewpoints as I have never understood unbelief. Chapter 5 sounds like some good knowledge to have too, with all the copies, and versions out there.

    Pick me, pick me!

  12. Bill Slater April 29, 2014 1:41 PM
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    Every good resource for apologetics is a welcome addition. Knowing there are answers to critics’/skeptics’ questions reduces fear, builds confidence and increases the ability to give calm, reasonable responses.

    • Apologetics Guy April 29, 2014 7:56 PM
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      Thanks for your comments, friends. The giveaway ends in a couple of hours. I’ll be picking the winner tomorrow!

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