Saturday, December 17, 2011

Why I'm Re-doing Faith that Makes Sense

I originally wrote Investigating Christianity in 1987 after a night when my wife and I shared our faith with a couple of guys at a campsite. They were super interested, and inclined to go further in exploring Jesus, but there was a problem: they were headed toward Alaska and we were headed home. I knew I would probably never see them again.

I wanted to have a piece I could put in their hands that would embody some of the most powerful approaches we typically use in Xenos, but could think of nothing. Most books for non-Christians rely on the historical arguments for the resurrection and related approaches, but I, for one, don't consider those very convincing in themselves. I know many have come to faith because of such arguments, and I use them myself as collaborating arguments. I just don't feel such arguments carry the day with truly skeptical thinkers.

That's when I decided to write my own book. Tyndale House later picked up the book, re-titled it, and sold a ton of them. That book has lead many to Christ. I know, because they email me telling me how they came to faith through reading the book.

I'm hoping this one, Discovering God, will be better. By selling it as a kindle, nook, or apple ebook for 99 cents (the cheapest allowed), I'm hoping people will just give it as a gift to someone they've been talking to, and ask them to check it out for later discussion. Instead of being something we only give people after they come to a Bible study, this might be good to give beforehand. The print version should come out within a week. It will be retailed at $3.99.

I was very impressed as a young believer by the argument from fulfilled prophecy, because I saw this is the Bible's own apologetic, used in the Old and New Testaments throughout. Other evidential arguments are there as well, but far less frequently. In this piece, I've featured several of the best examples of fulfilled prophecy.

So why redo Faith Makes Sense, when it had a dozen printings and 150 thousand copies produced? Because all of that book is out of date today.

First, the style of writing in the early nineties is completely different than what people need today. Mostly because of the internet, today's prose is far more direct, punchy, and never wordy. People simply won't read as long as they use to. That's why I shortened the book by 20 thousand words.

Also, a number of the most persuasive arguments available today were not well understood twenty years ago. specifically, the argument from design as seen through abiogenesis and cosmological fine-tuning have really gained force in recent years.

In the next post I'll give some samples of the new material in Discovering God.

Finally, language changes every decade, and key words that were fine then are now ill-advised. I'm hoping that the wording in this new title will be accessible and will communicate clearly.