Beyond Opinion,” edited by Ravi Zacharias and published by Thomas Nelson, is a book for anyone who writes apologetics, enjoys reading apologetics, wants to know what apologetics are all about, or someone who would like to have answers when asked about their faith in everyday life. It is not a book that will be read in one setting. It took me longer to read than most books I review. Fortunately, I found I was not alone, according to reviews by fellow reviewers, Angie Boy and Christian Salafia.

“Beyond Opinion” is a book to be read, re-read, and savored, mentally devouring each delectable morsel – made up of theology and reason. Each of a number of today’s leading apologists, including Zacharias himself, takes on a different aspect or topic of apologetics. Though each chapter stands on it own, it is also a unique part of the cohesive whole.

As is noted in the marketing copy, “Beyond Opinion” is Zacharias’ response to the question posed to him by a Hindu friend. “If this conversion is truly supernatural, why is it not more evident in the lives of so many Christians that I know?” To achieve his objective – an apologetic to enable Christians to be theologically informed enough to answer the tough questions in such a way as to persuade rather than argue – he asked the leading apologists, working with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), to write on the different challenges to the Christian faith.

“Beyond Opinion” is not only a relevant and useful apologetic compendium, it may also be used as a topical apologetic in particular situations. Beginning with the postmodern challenges to the Bible, part one also addresses the other most common challenges such as atheism, youth, Islam, eastern religions, and science. For those wanting to delve further into apologetics and theology in order to be equipped to ” simultaneously defend the faith and be transformed into a person of compassion,” section two of part one digs deeper by addressing conversational apologetics, broader cultural and philosophical challenges, the existential challenges of evil and suffering, and cross-cultural challenges.

Part two seeks to internalize the questions and answers acquired by venturing into the Trinity as a paradigm for Spiritual Transformation, the role of doubt and persecution in spiritual transformation, and idolatry, denial, and self-deception – hearts on pilgrimage. Zacharias rounds out the tome expounding on the church’s role in apologetics and the development of the mind.

Unfortunately, space does not permit in a short review a discussion of the theological points so eloquently stated in the book. And where would one begin? Or end, for that matter. It is better that you read it for yourself in its entirety (albeit not all at once). Your faith will become stronger and you will become spiritually assured. More importantly, the next time you find yourself in a conversation about your faith in a public setting, you will be able to respond knowledgeably and in a manner aimed more toward “winning people rather than arguments.”

Peace be with you.

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