Theology Questions Everyone Asks: Christian Faith in Plain Language


Everyone has questions about God and what matters most in life. When we ask those questions, we are asking about theology.

Isn't talk about God really a guessing game? What good is the Old Testament? How can we have free will if God controls everything? The virgin birth. Really? What does an earthquake say about God? Is the Holy Spirit still at work in churches today? What did Jesus think about getting married? Does being a Christian mean ...

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Theology Questions Everyone Asks: Christian Faith in Plain Language

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Everyone has questions about God and what matters most in life. When we ask those questions, we are asking about theology.

Isn't talk about God really a guessing game? What good is the Old Testament? How can we have free will if God controls everything? The virgin birth. Really? What does an earthquake say about God? Is the Holy Spirit still at work in churches today? What did Jesus think about getting married? Does being a Christian mean having particular political views?

While books about doctrine supply description and analysis of the classic questions of the faith, they often miss the contemporary questions on the minds of readers. This book fills that gap. Organized around the key topics of Jesus, the Bible, church, the Holy Spirit, evil, salvation and hope, the sometimes-provocative questions on these topics aim to ring true with the lived experience of real people. Even more, they look to inspire reflection, debate, disagreement, and above all, engagement in what the Christian faith is all about.

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Editorial Reviews

Marc Cortez
"Students, teachers and pastors everywhere face the same challenge: how do you deal with the perennial questions of theology? This excellent set of essays draws on the authors' extensive teaching experience to explain with creativity and clarity how to address a wide range of commonly asked questions. The authors demonstrate a commendable ability to combine scholarly depth with an accessible and engaging style of writing. Theology Questions Everyone Asks should provoke many thoughtful discussions in classrooms and churches everywhere."
Adam Neder
"This book is so well done that many people who teach introductory Christian theology courses will wonder how they got along without it. It provides lucid and engaging answers to important theological questions that students care about. This is an unusually helpful resource."
Mary Veeneman
"Theology Questions Everyone Asks is exactly the kind of book needed in the undergraduate theology classroom. This text examines questions that my students ask on a regular basis and does so in a way that is engaging and relevant. The authors have done an excellent job weaving together both the biblical text and salient moments from the Christian tradition, making this book a much-needed addition to the tools at hand for every undergraduate theology professor."
Kelly M. Kapic
"Don't we all have questions? I do. Not just the acceptable questions people feel comfortable asking, but the haunting questions that linger in your mind and heart—the kind of questions you may be afraid to verbalize because people will accuse you of doubt or irreverence. But these essays freely engage our questions and ask ones we have not even yet thought about. Thankfully, they also provide thoughtful answers, built on solid research and reflection, yet remaining always accessible and clear. This is a fantastic book for all who long to have their questions about the faith taken seriously."
Thomas H. McCall
"Some of the most penetrating and intriguing theological questions are the ones asked not by professional theologians but by sincere students and laypersons. Helpful answers to such questions are not, alas, as common as we might think. Thankfully, in Theology Questions Everyone Asks, we get some real-truth answers to go with real-life questions."
John Ortberg
"This book will be a helpful resource for many readers who want a single tool that addresses their most frequently asked questions. It will aid learner and teacher alike."
Christianity Today
"This volume gathers short essays (and suggestions for further reading) from theology professors at Wheaton College. They have listened and reflected as generations of students have asked about human life and purpose. The book aims to assure curious or wavering believers that 'good and thoughtful answers are at hand that can help.'"
Library Journal
Burge and Lauber (New Testament and theology, respectively, Wheaton Coll.) have edited this cluster of essays by Wheaton College professors—so, this is a home recipe made available to the broader Evangelical and Christian audience. Make no mistake about its perspective: although its authors tend to dart around the more tendentious issues—check the passages on substitutionary atonement and free will—the collection's distinctiveness lies in its reliance on theology rather than story or history, in contrast to most introductions to the faith. VERDICT More than a catechism, and more elaborate than a profession of faith, this explicitly didactic and accessible series of answers to typical quandaries ought to be useful as a point of departure for many Christian education classes.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830840441
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 2/10/2014
  • Pages: 203
  • Sales rank: 1,502,655
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary M. Burge (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of New Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. His passion in teaching, research and writing is how the unique world of the Middle East in antiquity shapes how we read the New Testament today. Among his many published books are Theology Questions Everyone Asks (with coeditor David Lauber), The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary (general editor with Andrew Hill), The New Testament in Antiquity (coauthored with Lynn Cohick and Gene Green), John: The Gospel of Life and the award-winning Whose Land? Whose Promise? What Christians Are Not Being Told About Israel and the Palestinians.

David Lauber (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is associate professor of theology at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He is author of Barth on the Descent into Hell: God, Atonement and the Christian Life.

Lauber holds memberships in the American Academy of Religion, the Karl Barth Society of North America and the Society of Biblical Literature.

Philip Graham Ryken (Ph.D., Oxford) is President of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He is Bible teacher for the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, and can be heard weekly on the radio broadcast Every Last Word. He has written or edited more than thirty books including The Message of Salvation, The Doctrines of Grace (with James Montgomery Boice) and Ryken's Bible Handbook.

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Table of Contents

Foreward by Philip G. Ryken
1. What is Christianity? Timothy Larsen
2. What is the Bible? Kevin J. Vanhoozer
3. Who is God? George Kalantzis
4. How Does God relate to the world? Gregory W. Lee
5 . What is the meaning of evil and suffering? Jennifer Powell McNutt
6. Who is Jesus? Gary M. Burge
7. What is Salvation? Keith L. Johnson
8. Who is the Holy Spirit? Jeffrey W. Barbeau
9. Who are Human Beings? David Lauber
10. Who is the Church? Daniel J. Treier
11. How should I live? Vincent Bacote
12. What is Christian Hope? Beth Felker Jones
Where Do We Go from Here?

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