on Aug. 07, 2014 :
“We had died and gone to heaven,” says C. P. Fagan, describing that earth-shattering experience of a teen coming to faith to the sound of strummed guitar, accompanied by fellow believers. But hell is never so far away, and doubt enters the equation all too soon. Still, is doubt really the enemy it seems? As the author points out, Mother Theresa doubted, and refused to let those doubts change her response to God.
Author C.P. Fagan goes on to look at well-known non-believers---no doubts in their minds as they describe the Bible’s fairytales and condemn how it has been used to foster wars. Answering with the “fairytale” of human conception offers gentle reasons to smile—do we really start life as cheeseburgers? Later the author even asks, Is heaven the same as Disneyland? Holding the reader’s interest through family-life examples of conscience, desertion and questioning, the author builds a case for reasonable faith—so reasonable that, of course, it almost has to allow for doubt. (After all, I reasonably believe I will live until tomorrow, but I might not.)
The author’s approach to “other” gods and deduction that Christianity offers the only sensible solution might seem overly simplistic, as does his disagreement with the science of evolution. But answers to other Christian doubts are well-illustrated and nicely offered in this book. Have you ever wondered how a good God allows bad things to happen? Or whether hell can be forever? Can true forgiveness truly be conditional? In nicely personable answers, the author doesn’t “mean to start a battle of the Scriptures,” but topics are argued with appropriate and convincing scriptural background, offering plenty of food for thought.
Subsections with titles like “Whoa Noah” and “When you’re down, you need a lift, not a shove,” will lift readers’ hearts, and the arguments for and against church attendance are as fascinating as the question of whether it’s easier to believe God or matter has existed for eternity. (Personally, I subscribe to the time-is-limited-and-God-isn’t approach, but that’s the mathematician/scientist in me.) That said, will this book convert unbelievers? Probably not (especially not if they follow other faiths or are moderately trained in science). Will it interest partial believers and everyday doubters? I think so, yes. Will it help a regular Christian accept both doubts and faith, provide food for thought, and invite many long evenings of serious discussion? I think it might. And will it give you all the answers? No. But it’s worth the read; just skip the evolution and comparative religion bits if you’re like me.
Disclosure: I learned the ebook was free on a Sunday. What better day to read it?
(review of free book)