Beyond Opinion by Ravi Zacharias is a well laid-out book on apologetics.Zacharias is the general editor and authors a couple of chapters. Other authors work for Zacharias’ apologetics ministry in some capacity.
While the book has a major section on how to answer different kinds of religions and opinions we face in our world today, the best part of the book is found in the last half. The real matter is Christians living out what they believe. That is the best apologetic.
The second section of the book deals with “Internalizing the Questions and Answers.” The focus is on the believer being convinced of their own faith. We’ve made our Christianity too much about US and not enough about the transcendent God. We also need to answer the tough questions in our own lives. Questions of doubt, despair, depression, suffering, denial, etc.
The third section deals with “Living Out the Answers.” Our greatest failure in “apologetics” is failing to live out what we believe. We can have good systems to answer other systems of religion and belief, but if our life does not match up and can be seen as genuine, it’s nothing. When we are transformed, the world has a chance at transformation.
Zacharias gives the example of missionary Mark Buntain. Zacharias preached in Buntain’s church in Calcutta at the age of 19. Buntain was full of encouragement and helped Zacharias get started in ministry. Buntain was full of love and compassion, ministering to the hardest parts of Calcutta throughout his missionary career. When he died, India broke their own rules about allowing foreigners to be buried on Indian soil. Buntain had lived out the gospel so fully among the people of Calcutta, he was buried in Calcutta.
This book was far more useful because of its appeal to a transformed life. Just having good systems of answers is not enough in our world.
I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson, and am under no obligation to write a positive review.