Over the course of his career, Ravi Zacharias has proven to be one of the leading voices in Christian apologetics. I enjoy his writings in particular because he focuses more on philosophy than on scientific evidences. Zacharias operates more on the assumption that worldview informs our interpretation other evidences. With the myriad worldviews competing for human attention, it can be daunting for the Christian to know where to start researching. “Beyond Opinion” is an excellent primer. The essays contained in the book are written by a number of leading thinkers in Christianity. This is both the book’s greatest strength and weakness. If you find writers or essays that grab your attention, then they serve as an entry point for more research. They give further books to investigate, and many of these authors have other books or essays in publication. Unfortunately, not all the essays will appeal to every reader, and that can be a bit of a disappointment, especially if you were wanting good information on a given topic. I found that many essays seemed too short, but given the space requirements of the book, this is understandable but regrettable.
Keeping with Zacharias’ view of apologetics, the book is arranged to get at the root reason for a seeker’s question. The idea is that the questions asked are the intellectual roadblocks to Christianity, but these questions are not the root of the individual’s objections to Christianity. There are questions behind the questions, differences in philosophy and worldview that must be addressed when attempting to past surface issues such as objections to suffering and evil. The book eventually moves to addressing doctrinal issues, although this is not the main focus of the book.
Again, the book is a great primer or survey of the debates that are currently going on in Western society, and a few of the debates from other religions as well. A great starting point.
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