Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias answers the call to those Christians who believe that Christianity has failed them with his characteristic spirit of humble grace. Christ followers, as well as those who are seeking to better understand the Christian faith and how it "works itself out" in our ever-shifting societal concept of faith, God and its pertinence to life on earth, will appreciate Zacharias’s thoughtful and intellectual approach. Readers will certainly find much more than they might expect within the pages of this heavyweight text on a number of theological issues.
Zacharias opens the book by defining "Who Is Jesus?" from an Old Testament story-by-story unveiling of who God says He is. He very eloquently paints word pictures of who Jesus is by sharing numerous scripture references to Him as the Son of David, Son of Man, and Son of God and Savior. This full-bodied account of Jesus, as described throughout the Bible, offers readers the soundest basis for seeing Jesus Christ in accurate terminology.
The author also does a marvelous job sharing what it means to be a Christian; detailing points of tension concerning faith matters; looking at incoherence on the topic of pain squarely in the eye; unpacking the two phrases "purpose driven" and "reason driven"; and asking what differences prayer and Christianity make.
Particularly appealing to today's Christian (and skeptic) will be Zacharias’s persuasive argument found in “Points of Tension,” where he deftly handles the hot topic of suffering and pain versus the notion that a loving God would not permit (or cannot control) such evil to exist in His followers' lives (or even in the world at large). Zacharias is able to take this argument back to its most basic premise and helps readers look at pain from a different vantage point. He points out that Satan appealed to Jesus when he tempted Him within the hierarchy of the written word, upon the promises and power of God. The lie purports that "God makes everything comfortable for us is precisely the reason many have been unable to face the tensions they experience in living the Christian life." So "relativism is a slave to the moment" whereas "absolutes, which are true regardless of circumstances or popularity, make it possible for precommitted certainties to be the basis on which to interpret a specific moment or issues..."
Zacharias then shares with his readers three primary "needs" humans have and how individuals struggle to meet them (thus causing discomfort and pain): the struggle for security that goes far beyond the need for safety from violence; release or rescue from pain and suffering and brokenness; and sexual fulfillment that is either illegitimately or legitimately fulfilled. Very sympathetic to the power of these needs, he offers not only biblical answers, but also real hope and promise for living through these tensions successfully.
Zacharias's weekly radio program, “Let My People Think,” aptly describes the man, his work and his message. HAS CHRISTIANITY FAILED YOU? is surely a thinking man or woman's text, which means it is important for every Christian to read.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on June 29, 2010