One-Minute Answers to Skeptics. By Charlie H. Campbell. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2005/2010. 122 pp. Paper, $10.99.
Do you ever have trouble defending your faith? Do you feel unprepared to provide sound Biblical answers to those who question the faith? Believers are clearly exhorted to “always [be] ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Pet 3:15b). Pastor and Christian apologetic, Charlie H. Campbell, has authored this book to answer forty of the most commonly raised questions by skeptics of Christianity with the hope of equipping believers in giving a clear and concise account of the hope that is within them.
One-Minute Answers to Skeptics addresses a myriad of questions and topics relevant to any believer including theological issues such as the evidence for God’s existence, inerrancy and authorship of Scripture, and the exclusiveness and uniqueness of Christianity and salvation. In addition, the book provides answers for difficult skeptical questions, having chapters entitled “How (or where) did Cain get his wife?” “Can God make a rock so big He cannot move it?” “Why aren’t dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible?” “How could all the races, with their different skin colors, come from Noah’s family?” Finally, the book discusses other prominent religions including Islam, Mormonism and Buddhism, bringing to light their inconsistencies and false teachings. While each question is answered concisely by design for consumption within a minute, Campbell has conveniently placed references throughout each answer to nearly twenty pages of end notes for further explanation and study.
In regards to Campbell’s soteriology, especially in relation to justification by faith alone in Christ alone for eternal life, a section entitled “Steps to Peace with God” is quite telling. Unfortunately, the commonly used ABC Lordship Salvation approach is provided: “Acknowledge that you are a sinner,” “Believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for you,” “Change direction. Turn away from your sinful way of life” (p. 99). This approach includes an emphasis on a willingness to repent so that “God will begin to change you and help you live a life that is pleasing to Him” (p. 100). While repentance from sin and acceptance of the Lordship of Christ are vital qualities for a productive Christian life, they are by no means requirements for justification (i.e., receiving the free gift of eternal life from Jesus Christ). The only condition mentioned throughout Scripture in countless places for regeneration is faith (believing) in Jesus Christ for eternal life (John 1:12; 3:14-18; 5:24; 6:47; Rom 3:21-28; 4:5; Eph 2:8-9; 1 Tim 1:16; 1 John 5:13).
All in all, this book is an outstanding resource for any Christian seeking to prepare themselves for the task of giving a faithful witness to others. Chuck Colson said it best in his assessment of this book as ascribed on the back cover, “Well worth the reading.”
University of Tulsa