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by Jonathan Petersen
Is biblical Christianity more than merely another private religious view? Is it more than a personal relationship with God or a source of moral teaching? Consider Christianity to be reality itself.
Bible Gateway interviewed Gregory Koukl (@gregkoukl) about his book, The Story of Reality: How the World Began, How it Ends, and Everything in Between (Zondervan, 2017).
Why is your book titled The Story of Reality?
Gregory Koukl: First, I wanted to offer a kind of primer on Christianity’s basics—the essential elements—but I didn’t want to write a theological textbook. Rather, I wanted to show how the important pieces fit together in a fascinating drama—a story, of sorts. I also wanted the reader to enjoy the journey, so I adopted a storytelling “voice” for the narrative. I wanted anyone who picked up the book to feel I was talking directly with them; that I was personally walking them through the account of how the world began, how it ends, and everything important that happens in between.
Second, I wanted to continually press the point that what I describe in the book is not my personal spiritual fantasy, my religious wishful thinking, or my make-believe-to-make-me-feel-happy kind of story. The Story doesn’t start out “Once upon a time” for a reason. It doesn’t mean to be telling a fairy tale. Rather, I wanted the reader to understand that this is the Story of the way the world truly is; that the things the Story describes actually exist and the events in the Story really happened (or, in some places, are yet to happen).
Nowadays, people have a habit of relativizing religion, reducing it to “your truth” versus “my truth” versus “their truth,” and that’s the end of it. But as I say in the book, “If the Story is not accurate to reality, it’s not any kind of truth at all. So it can never be ‘my truth’ or ‘your truth,’ even though we may believe it. It can only be our delusion or our mistake or our error, but it can never be our ‘truth.’” I want people to see that Christianity claims to be true in the deep sense, and if it isn’t, then it solves nothing at all.
Since the Christian Story is so dependent on the Bible, how do we know we can trust the Bible?
Gregory Koukl: My approach is not to simply tell our Story and claim it’s true because it’s in the Bible. Rather, I give the biblical view of reality and include reasons why people should think the Bible got the Story right. It’s what I call “soft apologetics”—thoughtful reflections that are friendly appeal to common-sense insights we all have about the world that point to the truthfulness of the Christian take on reality.
I also wanted readers (especially Christian readers) to see that the two biggest objections to Christianity…
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