27 Mar God is Good, God is Great – Book Review
God is Good, God is Great:
Why Believing in God is Reasonable and Responsible
William Lane Craig & Chad Meister (eds)
Inter-Varsity Press, 2009
256 pages, $19.00, paper
Reviewed by J. Kent Edwards
Professor of Preaching & Leadership
Director, Doctor of Ministry Program
Talbot School of Theology / BIOLA University
If your parishioners think about their faith, they will appreciate you taking the time to read God is Good, God is Great.
This book, a compilation of essays by prominent Christian philosophers, was written in response to ‘New Atheism’, which was composed by a group of vocal secular philosophers whose creed is “No heaven. No Hell. Just science.” This is a mantra that is increasingly repeated in the television shows and Netflix movie choices that fill our parishioners homes in the evening and their minds the next day.
Can I be honest? The problem with many philosophy books is that they often speak about problems that I have never heard of in words that I do not understand. I am a preacher. I speak God’s ancient words to contemporary people. My listeners come to church struggling with their job, kids, traffic and an evaporating 401K. If a philosophy book is going to help me, it’s going to help average people who are trying to take God and his Bible seriously.
Philosophy serves preachers well when it helps preachers understand why the worldview of the Scripture they are preaching is reasonable . . . and do so in concrete, non-technical terms that we can share with our congregations. Against this preacher’s grid, God is Good, God is Great scored a B+.
The book is divided into four topical sections: the existence of God, the greatness of God, the goodness of God, and why it matters. If you don’t have time to read the entire book, read sections 1 & 3. I found the authors in these sections to be particularly understandable and relevant.
In chapter one, for example, William Lane Craig restates some of the traditional arguments for God’s existence in simple nontraditional ways. In the cosmological argument, for example, he states that since the universe is continually expanding must be expanding away from a starting point. Using a simple cone diagram he explains that anything that is getting bigger and bigger “cannot be eternal in the past and must have an absolute beginning.” This is a simple and compelling argument I can easily share with my congregation. Thanks Dr. Craig!