He’s Greater Than You Know by Phil Weingart
by Brooke West
This morning, right on cue the dog started snarling, growling and barking up a storm. Mail must be here, I thought. But Greg is gone and getting the mail is his job. (I do not like mail boxes. When I go they are always teeming with bills and late notices. When he goes, there are nifty new books. I’m beginning to think he and the mailman are in cahoots.) So I sent the kid. Wouldn’t you know it? He came in with a package in one hand…and a fist full of bills in the other. Rats, so close.
The package was addressed to Greg, but it felt like a book. And as I’ve already established, he’s not here. AND since we’re married what’s his is mine, right? Right. Plus, I’m out of things to read…again. I’ll just take a little peek, I thought, no harm there. Plus the title is intriguing, and I like the cover art. AND I’ll get extra goodwife points for reading apologetics material instead of watching Full Metal Jacket…again. Woohoo!
He's Greater Than You Know: Essays for a Doubting Christian… ok, let’s give this a whirl. I don’t really see myself as a doubting Christian, I know all the arguments, I have all the answers to them that I need, I’m an apologist’s wife, I thought. But boy, did I get schooled.
He begins the book with five questions posed on the internet by a man named Mike. (I like the internet, well, I would hope so since it is the medium for our ministry here at The Poached Egg—you find the most interesting people there, don’t you think?)
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- Can a person willfully choose to believe and follow Christ even if they highly doubt some major areas of the faith?
- Why does God not supernaturally differentiate himself from all the other beliefs through easily verifiable displays of His power on a scale that all men can take note of?
- Why did God choose to reveal his specific nature to humanity through the medium if the written word when the written word us not very easily accessible or provable to all people of all time periods?
- How is it just for a benevolent God to allow people to be separated from Him for all eternity without first giving them reasonable evidence to believe in Him?
- Why would a benevolent God choose to design us in such a way that we must now be born spiritually dead and then add to that the suffering of living in a physically fallen planet?
I’m not going to go into the brilliant way in which the author tackles those questions, (which he does, it’s amazing) buy the book and read it. But let me just say two things:
One: anyone who makes his footnotes snarky? Totally ok in my book and only compels me to continue reading.
Two: anyone who can make me snort with laughter when reading apologetics (which as a whole is usually largely over my head, as I’ve said numerous times, and usually just makes me feel like a dumb girl) also, totally ok in my book.
I get hammered on various versions of these same questions with frustrating frequency. Chapter by chapter he tackles and answers these questions in insightful, thought provoking ways that made me think ‘wow, I really don’t know ANYTHING’ or ‘huh, I never thought about it THAT way’. This book answered questions or objections to the Christian faith I didn’t realize I had been mulling over. That was a nice slap in the face. Way to go Phil! (I mean that in a good way, I highly recommend this book.)
The accompanying picture show's what I’ve now done to the book. I hope Mr.Weingart and Greg won’t be too irritated with me. There are tiny hot pink, pale pink and lime green flags sticking out of all of my favorite parts. Parts that I will revisit and discuss with Greg when he gets home. Passages I need to go look up. Parts that give me better answers to my skeptical friends’ questions.
If you or someone you love (or maybe just someone you even kind of like a little) struggle with some version of the questions posed here, I can’t think of a better book to start with. At just over 150 pages, it is a quick, easy read and jam packed with excellent information, writing and references. It challenges you to think about things. Really think about things. Read it. I don’t believe you’ll be disappointed and you might even walk away with some insight you didn’t know you needed.
Editor’s Note: I received a free copy of this book for review from the author and was not obligated to give it a good review… and neither was my wife who has obviously beaten me to it.