Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Book Report – Without a Doubt

Wow, it has been a whole month since I’ve done a book report and it has taken me a month to read this wonderfully difficult book (for me) "Without a Doubt." It is a theology book and the very first one that I’ve read from cover to cover. The last theology book I tried to read was one I read with our NCBC staff called “Bible Doctrine” by Wayne Grudem and I have admit I didn’t read even half of it. Kenneth Samples made “Without a Doubt” a book digestible and useable for me and I pulled a lot of great ideas for me to ponder. Two of those ideas were key to me and I’ll share them here.

A key idea came to me as I read the chapter called, “Why Should I Gamble on Faith?” Samples uses Blaise Pascal’s work almost completely in this chapter to help people think through faith. Pascal is known for many incredible scientific theories but one of his most famous works is called “the Wager.” Samples shares the wager in a way that even today’s modern thinkers have to wonder if “the Wager” is worth it. But the interesting and what really stood out to me is when Samples writes, “The Wager is simply an apologetic tool, not an end in itself.” There are so many great apologetics out there that if they would understand this idea people like me wouldn’t have so much trouble reading their theology books.

The other key idea that jumped out at me was when Samples explains the importance of “Getting the Gospel Right.” “Historic Christianity is first and foremost what Jesus Christ has done, not about what his followers have or have not done morally…” We have to be focused on what Jesus has done more than anything else. This coming from a theology book is incredible to me. I so often have read books like these and put them down because it was so much about how each word and sentence is put together instead of what God was doing for man through Jesus.

Those are my ideas and there is a lot more in this book. I hope (as I have in many of the books I’ve read) I’ll have a chance to go back and use it again. I hope it will be another tool to make me just that much better as a husband, father, and/or middle school guy.

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