Confronting Christianity explores 12 questions that keep many of us from considering faith in Christ
Religion’s decline in the modern world turns out to be a myth.
Christianity is the most widespread global belief system, and promises to remain so well into the future. But for many educated westerners, biblical Christianity is a dangerous idea—challenging some of their deepest beliefs.
Channeling state-of-the-art research, personal stories, and careful biblical study, Confronting Christianity explores 12 questions that keep many of us from considering faith in Christ. Look more closely, McLaughlin argues, and the reality of suffering, the complexity of sexuality, the desire for diversity, the success of science, and other seeming roadblocks to faith become signposts. Jesus becomes not a relic from the ancient world, but our modern world’s best hope.
Chapter 1: Aren’t we better off without religion?
Chapter 2: Doesn’t Christianity crush diversity?
Chapter 3: How can you say there is only one true faith?
Chapter 4: Doesn’t religion hinder morality?
Chapter 5: Doesn’t religion cause violence?
Chapter 6: How can you take the Bible literally?
Chapter 7: Hasn’t science disproved Christianity?
Chapter 8: Doesn’t Christianity denigrate women?
Chapter 9: Isn’t Christianity homophobic?
Chapter 10: Doesn’t the Bible condone slavery?
Chapter 11: How could a loving God allow so much suffering?
Chapter 12: How could a loving God send people to hell?
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This book is compelling reading, not only because of its intellectual rigor and the fact that it is beautifully written but also because of its honest, empathetic humanity. Readers will find themselves expertly guided on a journey that involves them not only in confronting Christianity but also in confronting themselves—their worldviews, hopes, fears, failures, and search for identity and satisfaction—and, finally, in confronting Christ as the altogether credible source of life as God means it to be.
McLaughlin probes some of the trickiest cultural challenges to Christianity of our day and clearly demonstrates the breadth and richness of a Christian response. Confronting Christianity is well worth reading and pondering.
In the West, many people are persuaded by dominant secular narratives and think they already know what Christianity is about. In this bombshell of a book packed with myth-busting statistics, McLaughlin reveals the many surprises in authentic Christianity.
My difficulty as an ordinary Christian is to know how to be best prepared to answer questions about the Christian faith raised by modern society. The selection of 12 topics I found spot on for these days; the wealth of factual data gave sufficient information to sift falsehood and presupposition out from truth and reality; the stories of individuals pointed warmly to the impact of the gospel. I feel I now have a valuable resource, so as and when questions may come my way, I can with more confidence get to the heart of matters and provide a clear appeal to the wisdom, love, holiness and greatness of God.
'Confronting Christianity' is a thoroughly researched, beautifully written, and disarmingly honest examination of issues and problems that sincere Christian faith faces. Rebecca McLaughlin is candid about the patent failures of Christians and Christianity in history, while remaining insistent about the credibility, beauty, and believability of Jesus Christ and his gospel. Rigorous in research, robust in logic, and personally transparent, the author portrays Christian faith and the Christian church as capable of facing the challenges it faces from thinking people. As with any apologetic text, the emphasis throughout is not on one particular tradition or theology, but on the broad claims of evangelical Christianity, and it must be read with this in mind. There are hard issues and hot topics under examination in 'Confronting Christianity', but never once does the reader feel that the issues are being fudged - either in terms of laying out the nature of the challenges, nor in the answers offered to them.
This text will undoubtedly serve as an excellent evangelistic resource to be given to, and read with, atheist and agnostic friends, but it will also serve to bolster the faith of flagging Christians, and those who wrestle with honest doubt. As a pastor I would be keen to see this book put to use in the affirmation and education of the faith of young people on the threshold of facing a world which can easily dismiss and casually undermine faith, as well as with those outside the church who perhaps long to explore Christianity or to expose it to serious scrutiny. Highly recommended.