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The Defender's Guide for Life's Toughest Questions Review by April Elstrom

By Ray Comfort
Master Books
PO Box 726
Green Forest, AR 72638

I've never debated with an atheist, though I have listened to a bitter agnostic rant about the follies of Christianity, from his perspective. To be honest, if I had found myself in a conversation with an atheist, I wouldn't have debated him. I'd have tried my best to keep the conversation on safe topics, because I knew I was not equipped to discuss my faith with a hostile nonbeliever. Many Christians would do the same thing, avoiding conflict and debate for fear of failing.

Ray Comfort of The Way of the Master ministry isn't afraid to debate with atheists and evolutionists. He converses with them daily via the Internet, and has debated them publicly. The Defender's Guide for Life's Toughest Questions is Ray's collection of real questions and challenges from atheists. But he doesn't just provide the atheist argument; he also writes his response in this book so that any Christian can read it and be better equipped to " give the reason for the hope that you have" (1 Peter 3:15).

Written in a question-and-answer format, The Defender's Guide for Life's Toughest Questions is divided into five different segments of questions:

  • Humanity: Rights and Suffering
  • The Bible: Biblical and Theological Issues
  • Science: Scientific Thought and Evolution
  • Philosophy: Beliefs and Worldviews
  • Religion: God and Atheism

Each chapter contains questions related to its theme. There are 13 - 26 questions in each section, and Ray answers each one thoughtfully and logically. He addresses such issues as:

  • If God is good, why didn't He stop Hitler or other mass murderers?
  • If God sends people to Hell, then He must be evil.
  • How can anyone "know God"?
  • Evolution proves there is no need for God.
  • The Bible is an ancient book with no relevance today.

This short paperback book has benefits that go beyond preparing yourself to interact with atheists. It has usefulness in a much closer realm--your own family. Because this book is intended to be read by those preparing themselves to debate with atheists in the world around them, it would be perfect for high school students to read before they graduate. It could help answer any doubts they might have, strengthen their faith, and prepare them for the types of confrontation they might face in a secular university. It would also be an excellent resource for parents of preteens to read in order to be able to answer their children's questions. Read it early, before they start asking the tough questions.

I'm not a theological expert, and I can't tell you whether Ray Comfort is teaching from a Calvinist or Arminian point of view. However, I do believe that the content of this book is useful to any Christian, regardless of their particular theological background. There is much in this book that is applicable to ALL Christians. Of course, parents should preview this book before handing it to their teen so that they can address any theological differences they might have with it.

Though the topics in The Defender's Guide for Life's Toughest Questions are difficult issues, the book is not intimidating. It's a straightforward book that would be a benefit to any Christian.

Product review by April Elstrom, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2011