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28 September 2018

Carswell Cracker!

This book is ‘pure Roger Carswell’: an attractive combination of faithful theology, memorable illustrations and winsome appeal. Someone said: ‘The church is at its healthiest when its theologians are evangelists and its evangelists are theologians.’ This came to mind very soon after picking up Why I Believe, which discusses the evidence for seven key Christian beliefs.

It opens with the author’s own story of responding to the gospel, but quickly moves into why all should believe. It covers belief in the Bible as the Word of God, the devil as the enemy of God, the alienation of the world from God, Jesus as the Son of God, death and its defeat by God, becoming a child of God, and Jesus the only way to God. Two final chapters appeal to the reader’s own response.

The chapter on the devil is a great example of how Carswell is not afraid to take unpopular subjects and teach engagingly, with clarity and an appropriate level of depth.

I can see a variety of uses for this book:

A non–Christian who is willing to give the gospel some attention; a new Christian who wants to explore more fully what they now believe; a mixed youth group; to reinforce Bible basics; a book group of adult new believers.

I challenge Bible teachers not to find themselves scribbling down many of the illustrations, and the chapters provide many model evangelistic talks. It is also a fine example of how to engage with the world faithfully and winsomely. Are you a theologian? This could well help you be a better evangelist. Are you an evangelist? This won’t do your theology any harm at all.

This review first appeared in the August 2018 issue of Evangelicals Now

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