Back Chat: Answering Christianity’s Critics
Christian Focus Publications
Star Rating: 2 stars
Back chat is a collection of 27 stand-alone articles, which were originally published in Evangelicals Now.
Each one is only two or three pages long and convenient to pick up and read while waiting for the kettle to boil or the news headlines to come on. They cover a wide range of subjects, from the ‘big questions’ (Who was Jesus? What about all the other religions?), to topical news items (homosexual marriage, the Large Hadron Collider).
Sinkinson’s aim is to give Christians the confidence to offer a robust ‘word back’ (1 Peter 3:15) when challenged about their faith. He sees straight through falsehoods peddled by opponents of Christianity, including ‘lost Gospel’ stories and Da Vinci Code-style conspiracies. But, equally, he has no time for spurious and sensational claims, such as the supposed discovery of Noah’s ark. Such claims are said to prove biblical facts, but ultimately serve to discredit the faith.
Some would question Sinkinson’s enthusiasm for what he calls ‘Hollywood apologetics’, that is to say, engaging with popular films and watching movie clips in church to understand the messages they convey.
In two articles he appears to struggle with the destruction of the Canaanites and similar Old Testament events, perhaps tending to downplay the shocking severity of God’s judgement.
Back chat provides good examples of ‘unapologetic apologetics’, how to speak graciously without giving any ground. A Christian reader may not learn anything new, but might be helped to conduct their next gospel conversation with a little more confidence.
It would be especially helpful to new Christians or any who are struggling with doubts about their faith.