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Short Answers to Big Questions about God, the Bible and Christianity 

Well-written book that would be suitable for use subsequent to an Alpha or similar course, and for busy ministers

 

Short answersShort Answers to Big Questions about God, the Bible and Christianity
By Clinton E. Arnold and Jeff Arnold
Baker
ISBN 978-0-8010-1666-0
Reviewed by Pieter Lalleman

In this large book the two Arnolds cover the entire spectrum of Christianity, raising and answering a total of 50 questions. Most chapters take six pages.

Not all questions are real questions, but the responses are always useful. As a kind of 'catechism' the book would be suitable for group discussion, not least because each chapter ends with a list of relevant Bible passages and some pretty good questions for discussion. The style is simple and this well-written book would be suitable for use subsequent to an Alpha or similar course.

Not all content is equally strong in my view; for example, the chapter on demon possession is practical, but those on evil and on hypocrisy in the church are simplistic. More could have been written about the Holy Spirit. Yet many chapters are very practical.

It is a shame that the authors start with questions about the Bible and immediately argue for its infallibility. This has never been a popular concept in the UK, as we prefer to speak about the Bible's power, authority and reliability. Those who make it past these first chapters (or skip them altogether) will find this a useful book. 

As there is no compelling order to the material, it can be treated in any order. Sin is only discussed in chapter 31. The book is also available as eBook. It could save busy ministers, who currently write their own materials, much time. 
 
 

The Revd Dr Pieter J. Lalleman teaches biblical studies at Spurgeon's College

Baptist Times, 08/07/2016
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