This is a book about apologetics (arguments defending the Christian faith). It is the second of a projected 10-volume series, entitled ‘The Big Ten: Critical Questions Answered’, which aims to address major questions raised by sceptics.
Questions include, ‘Why is there evil in the world (and so much of it)?’ ‘Hasn’t science shown that we don’t need God?’ ‘Is there really only one way to God?’ ‘Why should I believe in Christianity?’ And the one under consideration here is ‘Does Christianity really work?’ The books are aimed at sincere sceptics, but they would also be helpful to believers wanting light on the questions addressed.
William Edgar leads the reader gently through problems of unanswered prayer, the inclinations of temperament which lead to persistent sins, the addictions which are our besetting sins, and that feeling that living the Christian life might ‘be beyond me’.
While openly acknowledging the shameful things that have been done in the name of Christianity, the author wishes to present a positive and balanced view of Christianity, such as has been seen in social reform and health care. Christians have made helpful contributions to the establishing of world peace, by resisting destructive trends and by restoring broken relationships.
Christianity works, the author says. If it doesn’t work, it will rightly have little appeal and would fail to live up to its own claims. But, Edgar maintains, ‘Christianity is not true because it works; it works because it is true’ (p.200). The Christian faith is not primarily to be commended because it works, but the gospel, when believed, will bear fruit (it will work). The gospel changes lives and lifestyles, and these impact society. Even if it proves difficult, those who try the Christian faith will not find it wanting.
Would I buy this book? If someone wanted answers to the questions the author addresses, I think so. Does the book get to the bottom of every challenge under the umbrella of ‘Does Christianity really work?’ No. But it does give substantial solutions to some of life’s most pressing questions.
Based on a solid biblical foundation, particularly the teachings of Christ and his apostles, and littered throughout with apposite historical examples and contemporary anecdotes, this book can be recommended to thoughtful inquirers and believers alike.