16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This is the first full study by Zacharias I have read, and am fully impressed with the man's grasp of Scripture and views on what it means to be a Christian. As an Oxford scholar and highly acclaimed Christian apologist, he takes a very down-to-earth approach in addressing the issue of why many try Christianity only to later reject its claims. To begin with, the author lays out what the Bible has to say about the character of Jesus as the essence of what Christianity really is. It is God manifest through his son Jesus that forms the potential basis for a personal relationship between Creator and created being. Accepting the terms of this relationship involves a rational process where humans recognize and accept that they are unable to find true lasting purpose in life outside of a loving and eternal God. The book deals with a number of arguments that can be made, but are easily refuted by the quick-witted Zacharias, that Christianity, as humanly defined, often falls short of the mark in delivering on its promises. One, while God promises to save us from eternal damnation, he does not give us a rational basis for assuming that all will go well for us in this world. For the skeptic who doubts God's power to intervene in world affairs, Zacharias counters by pointing out that God desires to change the world through establishing a faith-based, grace-inspired relationship with humankind. It is the Christian filled with God's love and purpose that makes the difference in an otherwise darkened world. Those who walk away from such a belief do so, Zacharias reasons, because they reason that God should either completely reveal himself and save the world from its incoherency, or that God is a fraud who never quite lives up to his claims of protecting and sustaining his creation. Such a stinging critique of the Creator's Lordship over humanity invariably throws the critic back on his or her own fallible and limited reasoning as to what makes sense in the context of this life: freedom, happiness, wealth, and peace. What often prevents people from fully buying into the Christian life is their reluctance to accept the promises of a relationship with an eternal deity before they have fully tested its conditions. It is this rational mindset that turns people away when they learn that Christianity requires too much surrender of the human mind in return for the mind of Christ. Reading this little study should provide the reader with why and how Christianity makes its claim on the individual in such a uniquely transforming way. At the end, there is one conclusion when someone turns away from following Christ: they failed to see the big picture as to what it all means in respect to eternity.