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Book Review: How to Talk to a Skeptic

If you’ve ever found yourself challenged by a skeptic, you know it can be a daunting experience. If the skeptic simply wants to share ideas in a mutually respectful manner, the conversation can be beneficial for both of you. Sometimes, however, the discussion can take a nasty turn, so that suddenly, you find the skeptic no longer presenting ideas and trying to understand yours but determinedly trying to destroy all your beliefs. Even if you’re standing on rock solid ground regarding your understanding and practice of faith, this situation can be more than intimidating.

Dr. Donald J. Johnson’s book can help prepare you for this. His goal is to help you, when discussing the Christian faith with skeptics, to keep the conversation on pleasant and mutually respectful ground. I gave my highlighter a workout as I read this book.

In the first section, Johnson helps readers understand that the Christian faith is not a product to be sold. It’s simply the Truth. Our job as believers is not to sell this Truth, but to present it. Those who listen will choose whether to accept it or not. God’s Spirit does the hard work of helping us present the Truth and in drawing others to believe. Johnson goes on to present ideas on how to go about doing your part effectively.

In the second section of the book, Johnson talks about some common misconceptions about what Christians actually believe. I recommend this section to every Christian since many, as Johnson points out, buy into these themselves. Johnson does a fantastic job of presenting Christian doctrine clearly and solidly, according to God’s Word.

In the third section, Johnson gives examples of how to talk with a skeptic by presenting a few possible conversations that might come up and how he would handle them. He makes it very clear at the beginning of this section that it is in no way comprehensive. He has just chosen a few familiar topics as illustrations for readers to consider and learn from. He closes this section with a deeper look into the mind of the skeptic, so readers can better understand what motivates this attitude and, therefore, handle it more compassionately or recognize when it’s time to walk away.

I appreciated the information in this book and enjoyed reading it, too. Bethany House Publishers sent me a complimentary copy for this honest review. It’s one I recommend.

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Janet Benlien Reeves

Reader, Writer, Runner, Flower Hunter, Child of God, Prince Charming's Wife, Mom Prone to Cheer
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