Everything you always wanted to know about God (but were afraid to ask) by Eric Metaxas
With a couple of small exceptions, I found this to be a very readable & helpful book on basic Christian apologetics – in other words, a book that answers questions about what Christians believe & why. The author, Eric Metaxas, uses a dialogue format that is shot through with humorous asides & cultural references both new & old (he manages to quote Pink Floyd, reference Aretha Franklin, and even bag on Barney… and then quote major chunks of William Blake, the English poet.) An example:
Q: What happens when you die?
A: Well, it depends, but typically the lawn goes unmowed for a while, and the newspapers really pile up
This is not your typical apologetics book… which is a good thing.
I esp. like how he dealt with the questions about the difference between religion & Christianity. As well, I like that he doesn’t claim to have perfect answers for difficult questions like “Why does God allow suffering?” or “How does prayer work?” Instead of trying to cobble together something pithy & quotable that panders to the churchified crowd, he honestly presents ways those questions have been answered, admitting that the answers may not be satisfying to some.
I did mention at the beginning that I found a place or two where I didn’t agree with his arguments. I think his facts about the number of deaths from the Inquisition & Crusades are wrong – but he hasn’t sourced them where I can check them out. Still, I don’t think an error of 10x magnitude here undermines his basic argument, so it’s not that big a deal.
This book is not going to convince a militant nonbeliever that they’re wrong – actually, I don’t think any book can do that by itself. But I do think it could be very helpful for folks who are asking questions about faith… and for those who believe who’ve never worked through these kinds of issues