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We live in a radically skeptical age. Tough questions are being asked about Christianity. And most believers are ill-equipped to provide the answers our culture and communities desperately need. Many in today’s church do not know the Bible as well as they should and they struggle with their own “big questions” about the faith. After receiving more than four thousand questions at his Christian Thinkers Society events over the span of six years, Dr. Jeremiah Johnston began to recognize six categories of recurring, trending questions that dominated the rest. In Unanswered, he tackles these tough issues that plague the minds of believers but are rarely addressed in church, such as…
- Why is it that God often seems to remain silent?
- How can we trust in the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and what does it mean for us today?
- What do Christians need to understand about suicide and mental illness?
- How should Christians respond to spiritual darkness and the obsession with paranormal activity?
- Why is biblical illiteracy so dangerous for Christians and the church?
- Why do we experience suffering and pain?
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About the Author
Dr. Johnston is a New Testament scholar, apologist, and sought-after speaker on university campuses and churches. He completed his doctoral residency in Oxford and received his Ph.D. from Middlesex University (United Kingdom). He also earned advanced degrees in theology from Acadia University (Canada) and received his M.Div. at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Johnston has distinguished himself with publications in both popular and scholarly books, refereed journals, and serials. His most recent book is Jesus and the Jihadis, coauthored with Craig Evans. Dr. Johnston currently serves as the founder and president of Christian Thinkers Society, a resident Institute at Houston Baptist University, where he also serves as Associate Professor of Early Christianity in the School of Christian Thought. Hometown: Richmond, Texas (Houston area)
Table of Contents
Foreword Lee Strobel 19
1 Questions Have Power 23
Part 1 God on Mute: What Do I Do When God Is Silent?
2 Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are, God 35
3 Anticipating the Savior in the Silence 45
4 Being a Channel, Not a Reservoir: Unanswered Engagement Principles 55
Part 2 Body of Proof: Why Can I Trust in the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus and How Does that Change Things Today?
5 The Dead Rise: A Ph.D. in Zombies 61
6 Evidence of the Greatest Comeback Ever 71
7 Engagement Principle #1: Don't Go Beast-Mode 81
Part 3 My Invisible Disease: What Christians Must Understand about Suicide and Mental Health
8 Elephant in the Room 87
9 "Please Leave Out Church" and Other Disasters: Removing the Stigma That the Mentally Ill Are Not Welcome at Church 101
10 Engagement Principle #2: Shut Up and Listen 113
Part 4 Paranormalcy: Understanding the Paranormal Allure among Christians and How to Escape It
11 Vampires, Zombies, Ghosts, Mediums, and Paranormal Phenomenon Have Never Been More Normal or Profitable 119
12 He Who Is in Me Is Greater Than He Who Is in the World 131
13 Engagement Principle #3: Be Cool, Thought Leader 137
Part 5 Bible-ish Christianity: Why Most Christians know just enough About the Bible to Be Dangerous
14 The Best-Selling Book of All Time That Few Read and Fewer Understand 143
15 Until Heaven and Earth Pass Away: Reforming a Bible-ish Christianity 155
16 Engagement Principle #4: Be Curious 167
Part 6 Becoming Job: Why Suffering, Me-Centric Christianity, Concierge-God Don't Mix
17 Prevent Faith: Why I Need a Bend-But-Don't-Break Belief 171
18 The Problem of Love 181
19 Engagement Principle #5: Avoid Island Fever 191
More Unasnwered Questions-I Hope to Hear From You 195
Suggested Reading 213
About the Author 219
What People are Saying About This
An insightful book that will have a lasting impact on all readers...you will be inspired by the truth and encouraged as you seek answers to unanswered questions in your life. --Dr. Jay Alan Sekulow Chief Counsel, American Center for Law & Justice
This new book by my friend and colleague Jeremiah J. Johnston is so important…a winsome and accessible book…drawing from Jeremiah's considerable academic training.His analysis is unflinching, his approach is practical, and his writing is cleara great combination! The chances are that you will encounter friends and family members who are authentically searching for answers to the big questions of life. Let Jeremiah prepare you. --Lee Strobel Author, The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Unanswered by Jeremiah Johnston, and I plan to re-read it and study it even more. I am absolutely delighted by the knowledge I gained reading this book This book tackles 6 difficult questions that go unanswered in the church, although the questions are common among believers and non-believers. They are about tough topics, such as suicide and mental illness, did Jesus really rise from the dead, paranormal experimentation among believers, and why God is silent. Each of these questions are explained in an easy to read and understand format. At the end of each chapter, the author provides essential engagement principles that will help the reader communicate, clearly and confidently, biblical truth to others. I have discussed topics from this book with several people and have enjoyed sharing with them the information I gleaned from the book. They, too, thought the information was relevant and something that all believers need to know. This book was given to me free from the Book Club Network in exchange for an honest review.
Unanswered: Lasting Truth for Trending Questions by Jeremiah Johnston is a very well written book, with concise, sensible and worthwhile lessons. The author focuses on six key questions that touch on subjects dealing with when God is silent, the resurrection of Jesus, suicide and mental health, the paranormal, Bible-less Christianity and suffering. At the conclusion of the discussion of each of the questions, the author has a chapter on how to implement these answers using "Engagement Principles". Using examples of personal experience, other believers experiences and examples from the Scriptures, Johnston addresses these subjects in a helpful and practical manner, with the expressed purpose being to begin healthy discussions in the church about these oft-ignored questions from the skeptics of our world. The book would be an excellent springboard to more in-depth study into each of these key questions either singly or in a group setting. It is hugely relevant in this day and age and to an often dubious society. Questions abound and so often Christians just do not know what to say or how to respond. Unanswered, insightful and inspirational, is an excellent resource to equip the followers of Christ with answers to questions about their personal faith. I received a copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
Unanswered by Jeremiah Johnson was the first book I read by this author and won’t be my last. This was truly a wonderful, deep, thought provoking book that started conversations for me that continued as I thought about God’s truths in relation to these topics. These were some great topics to cover - some would even possibly be considered “hot button” topics but were taught/answered in such a way as to thoroughly understand what this author believes the Bible teaches about them. I love how he backed up his answers with various Scripture verses and not just his opinion. Great read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I received this book for free from The Book Club Network and the author in exchange for my honest review.
Unanswered by Jeremiah Johnson was a wonderful book. I have been taking my time reading this book because it has so much valuable information. In fact, I have been loving it so much that my friends and I have formed a Bible study around it, focusing on each section per week to read and discuss together. This brings new insights into his teachings because of everyone’s personal experiences. I love his knowledge on the various topics and while these are topics I wouldn’t necessarily think to ask, I’m so glad someone did because they are topics I have had questions about. Love this book and already have told MANY people about it and how wonderful it is, that they need to get their own copy. I received this book for free from The Book Club Network and the author in exchange for my honest review.
I started reading this book and couldn't stop! Some of the questions he answers are not easy. They make you think and think some more. I was shocked as I was reading how mental illness is treated in the church. I personally have dealt with depression and anxiety for many years. Thanks to a wonderful family and therapy I know what I have to do each day to keep it in check. I also have to admit to being that person who says I am fine when I am really not. This chapter on mental illness was an eye opener and a great reason for everyone to read this book. The statistics are staggering. I was moved reading about Anna and her struggles with depression and anxiety as well as an eating disorder. I felt very sad reading it but was very happy after realizing that she did have a great support system and has it in control day to day. I love how the author tells us to listen and not judge. I do want to say that everyone needs to open their eyes and ears to those who may need us. They could be anyone at anytime and as a chapter says we need to "shut up and listen." We need to not sweep it under the rug any longer. I believe that if each person would read this book we could potentially save lives by the techniques that the author has written. People with mental illnesses need to know that they are not alone. Another part in this book that is answered is about the paranormal, ghosts,and vampires. Funny as it may sound I didn't realize how it was affecting people. I admit I am one of those people who love a scary movie and scary book once in awhile. While reading I was amazed at how people are taking advantage of people who have lost loved ones and children by psychics and mediums. They scam these people into believing they can talk to their loved ones who have pasted. We need to be careful not to get sucked into these ideas. We will be reunited with our loved ones in heaven when God calls us home. I recieved this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review.
As a rule, I don’t willingly read non-fiction. It’s not that I don’t have a lot to learn about the Christian walk. It has much more to do with keeping my attention. Where I devour a good fiction book in a matter of a couple of days, non-fiction finds me plodding through at the speed of slogging through thick, gooey mud. That said, imagine my surprise when I picked up Unanswered by Jeremiah Johnston and found myself not only enjoying the book but learning something in the process of reading it! Dr. Johnston’s writing style in many ways mirrors the writers of the Bible. He tells true stories to illustrate the spiritual truth he talks about in each chapter. When he wrote in chapter 2 about the “silence of God when we are hurting”, he tells the story of the five years of infertility that he and his wife endured – crying out to God all the while with not a peep. He knows whereof he speaks and it shines through on every page. I plan to recommend this book as a possible Sunday School class at my church and if not that, a study book for my ladies Bible study. If I had only read Part 3: “My Invisible Disease and What Christians Should Know About Mental Illness”, this book would still have been well worth my time. Dr. Johnston speaks with great depth of feeling on the ever increasing rate of suicide, especially among Christians (and pastors). He gives real, concrete ways to help. His chapter on Mental Illness was equally illuminating. If you have ever questioned the existence of God when he has been silent to your pleas for help or wondered how to respond to people who are skeptical about your belief in a risen Savior, this book will give you tools to win hearts. I highly recommend Unanswered! It answered questions that I didn’t know I had and pointed me to scripture while encouraging me to step up for the hurting among us. I received this book from the publisher through Bookfun.org in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!
Unanswered: Lasting Truth for Trending Questions, written by Jeremiah J. Johnston, focuses on 6 tough questions taken from thousands of questions he received at his events. Topics covered are: when God does not answer prayer, the resurrection of Jesus, suicide and mental illness, paranormal allure among Christians, knowing “just enough” about the Bible, and pain and suffering. Each section of the book is finished with a short section he calls “Engagement Principles” in which he encourage us to take these answers to the world around us through leadership opportunities. There are several parts of the book that I found very interesting. I found the author's topic on the paranormal very interesting. He uses examples from the bible to teach us about testing the spirit and understand the the paranormal teaches a false gospel. I also found the part on pain and suffering very interesting. Many times when asked how we are, we simply say fine. This part of the book focuses on Paul and his writing in 2 Corinthians. Using Paul's writings, the author stresses we should be honest about our pain and suffering. If we are suffering we should go to our pastors, our friends and share with them. We should not bottle things up and God does not want us to hide our emotions. The part I appreciated the most was the section on mental illness. Of all the years of attending church, I have never heard a sermon on this topic. Yet I have heard many in the church whisper negative comments about people who struggle with mental illness. Many do not understand mental illness is an illness, just like diabetes and high cholesterol for example. And it needs to be treated and not looked down on. I appreciated the author spending the time to write about this, this helpful suggestions for talking with people with mental illness. As a wellness facilitator I really appreciated this. And I will be keeping this in mind when I am put in the situation of helping those who do not understand mental illness. I received a copy of this book from Book Club Network for an honest review.