Today, we begin a new feature on Pastors Today. Joey Cochran will be providing weekly reviews of pastoral resources for the site. With thousands of books and resources at your disposal as a pastor, the inevitable question becomes “On which should I spend my money?” We aim to answer that question through these reviews.
Andreas Kostenberger, Darrell Bock, and Josh Chatraw. Truth Matters. Nashville, Tennessee: B&H, 2014. 211 pp. $12.99.
Church and Ministry
Skeptics, like Bart Ehrman, callously throw objections at Christians on a day-to-day basis. But let’s be honest, our faith is not always under fire from without. Sometimes the questions and doubts come from within. And whether you are a pastor, barber, housewife, or teen each of us face objections, from within or without, at one time or another. Enter Truth Matters, a book that readies Christians to face today’s most commonly propagated objections to the Christian faith.
Kostenberger, Bock and Chatraw deftly field six common objections Christians face: Does God exist and care? How’d we get our Bible? Is the Bible filled with mistakes? Can I trust the copy of copies of the Bible? Who decided the stuff Christians believe? Is the resurrection true?
Each contributor offers his own touch to this resource. Kostenberger and Bock bring scholastic clout. Bock, with his knack for cultural engagement, is in tune to the spirit of the age. And Chatraw’s pastoral mindedness anchors this resource for accessibility.
When I came across Truth Matters, I immediately asked myself, “What does this resource offer that Lee Strobel, Hank Hannegraaff, Josh McDowell, Ravi Zacharias, or others have not?”
First, this resource is not an exhaustive apologetic. It focuses on key concerns of bibliology, canonicity, and the historicity of Jesus’s person and work. All of these are defenses for Christianity’s historiography. This counters a specialized area of skepticism, one that is popularized and advanced by Bart Ehrman, making this a current and timely read.
Second, Truth Matters introduces us to the skeptics, their works, arguments, and approach. Thus, readers will be prepared and cushioned for what’s coming and not just anchored with answers, though anchored they will be. It’s the difference between an airbag and a seatbelt.
Finally, this resource is manageable. It trims the fat, so you don’t have to read thousands of pages from skeptics, nor need you wade through a thousand pages of apologetic material.
Benefit for Pastoral Ministry
Pastors will want to read Truth Matters and keep it close. It is a quick reference guide for that time just before a meeting with a teen or adult struggling with an objection addressed in this book.
More than that, pastors will want to pass Truth Matters on to others. It makes a great gift for seniors and the discussion questions make it useful for Sunday school or small group. The chapters are brief, which means a study group could read together and discuss in one sitting.
Essential — Recommended — Helpful — Pass It By
Truth Matters is what you need to shield the crud that skeptics fling. Get Truth Matters, stay clean, and remain confident in the One who keeps you.