Dinner With Skeptics – Jeff Vines

12 01 2010

I went to Jeff’s Church in New Zealand, and listened to him preach. He was excellent then and his book is no different. As I read the book Jeff’s voice kept playing in my head. Jeff is a quick thinker and a very logical man, and it shows in this book. But his heart for people shines through too. His answers were solid and he gave a good defence of the Christian faith. The objections are nothing new to me, I’ve heard them before from many other apologetics books like “Reason for God” – Tim Keller and “Reasonable Faith” – William Lane Craig. This book is different from those because it sets Jeff’s apology in a real life situation, and the story line really hooks you in. I found myself wanting to know what happened next. In saying that it’s an easy read and you should finish it in a day or two. Some concerns for me as a student of theology, is that Jeff resorts to a form of open theism or arminian interpretation of the problem of Evil. God takes a risk in creating creatures with free will who will possibly break his heart and use their freedom for evil instead of good. Albeit Jeff does say in the footnote that God was not caught off guard. I don’t find this convincing especially when we scripture speaks of God as omnipotent, as one who declares the begining from the end. Also we note in Genesis that God created a world where sin was a latent possibility (why would paradise have the tree of knowledge of good evil?). Somehow I think God knew and planned all things in life, and that somehow all things work together for the good of those who love Him. I realise there are many different ways to tackling this problem and even the best interpretation of the facts will not give us complete knowledge. Different intepretations are a good thing, and this is a minor flaw in my view.

Overall this is a good book and one I would reccomend as a tool for evangelism or equipping the average Christians with some good answers for skeptics

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