Book Review: ‘Confronting Christianity’
Books on Christian apologetics aren’t casually considered must-reads.
We associate apologetics with academia, doctrinal debates and something pastors do in comment sections of blogs.
But still, we have questions. Our world has questions. Our neighbors, co-workers, family members, all have questions about Christianity that often go unasked or assumed. Somewhere between the church doors on Sunday morning and the quiet solitude of our inner thoughts before sleep, we often think, “Yeah… but what about…?”
Is it okay to confront Christianity?
Questioning the Christian faith is okay – even for Christians. Throughout the Scriptures, we find even the most devout followers having questions, confronting issues and having to wrestle with tough circumstances and differing worldviews. Even more today, in a growing climate of Christian hostility and moralistic relativism, one may wonder if one can indeed face the head-wind of questions buffeting Christianity’s doors and still stand firm.
Whether we think so or not, we live in a day when Christianity is challenged in both public discourse and private vitriol. While the questions may echo in the minds of those struggling with faith both inside and outside the church, all too often these same questions don’t sound from our lips or resonate from our platforms.
This is why the book Confronting Christianity by Rebecca McLaughlin is so timely.
McLaughlin is not your common stereotype of someone who might offer a book on Christian apologetics. She’s relatively young. She’s not American. Though married with children, she openly discusses her lifelong battle with same-sex attraction. She is friends with and respected by a wide assortment of people—from Ivy League academia to soup-kitchen homelessness—whom she engages in civil and contemplative discussion.
McLaughlin isn’t afraid of tough questions, and she has little interest in providing platitudes. Confronting Christianity addresses real issues offered from both inside and outside the church. The book proves helpful for the committed churchgoer as well as the atheistic antagonist to Christianity.
In fact, through McLaughlin’s conversational, humble and vulnerable approach to writing, one could see the Christian and the atheist both enjoying healthy dialogue together over marked-up copies of this book and steaming cups of tea (not coffee—she’s British).
Consider the twelve questions McLaughlin addresses in Confronting Christianity:
- Aren’t We Better Off Without Religion?
- Doesn’t Christianity Crush Diversity?
- How Can You Say There’s Only One True Faith?
- Doesn’t Religion Hinder Morality?
- Doesn’t Religion Cause Violence?
- How Can You Take the Bible Literally?
- Hasn’t Science Disproved Christianity?
- Doesn’t Christianity Denigrate Women?
- Isn’t Christianity Homophobic?
- Doesn’t the Bible Condone Slavery?
- How Could a Loving God Allow So Much Suffering?
- How Could a Loving God Send People to Hell?
My guess is either you or someone you know is asking these questions. Even if you are not, you may know the right answers but find yourself without compelling arguments as to why you hold your positions.
McLaughlin is disarming yet firm in her convictions. She is not afraid to chase steep rabbit trails or shed light on dark corners of Christianity’s history. In all of her attempts to answer today’s biggest critiques of Christianity, however, her tone is respectful, understanding and one that is to be emulated.
Confronting Christianity is the book you didn’t know you were looking for. Even if you’ve never read a book on Christianity in your life—much less one on Christian apologetics—you will find this book captivating. You may find answers to your questions. You may find even more questions you weren’t even asking. Either way, you will find sound Biblical truth presented with understanding and compassion.
Don’t be afraid to confront Christianity. I know you will be helped if you do so with this book.