Friday, August 22, 2008

Know What You Believe - Book Review

I first encountered Paul Little in my personal evangelism class in seminary. His book How to Give Away Your Faith was truly a great read. And what I really appreciated about him was that he wasn’t just giving techniques, rather he was helping us see how evangelism must be a lifestyle; a lifestyle that is fed by devotion to Christ and a commitment to discipling those who come to Christ. So I was very excited to discover another book by Paul Little, Know What You Believe. (He seems to have specialized in being extraordinarily helpful).

This book’s greatness is seen in three ways. First in its content, it serves as a great summary of essential truth that believers must believe. Second in its size, it is only 136 pages long (in my edition). Third in its simplicity, the author has an amazing ability to make complex things understandable to all. The combination of these three components, providing depth in a quick easy read, make it a true gem.

The chapters cover ten topics (or categories of truth), the Bible, God, Jesus Christ, Christ’s death, Man and Sin, The Holy Spirit, the Church, Spiritual beings (Angels, Satan, and demons), Salvation, and Things to Come (eschatology). Some may want to fight with him about which truths could have been left out and some that should have been put in. But it is hard to argue that these are bottom floor truths that are helpful to have explained.

I also want to praise his ability to carefully present where Christians can freely disagree and remain in fellowship, and at the same time drawing the line where we fall into serious error.

I would recommend using this book as a discipleship tool for new believers, exposing them to the fundamental truths that make it possible to grow into maturity. I also recommend this book to older Christians as a kind of refresher course, reminding us of what is essential and what is not. And to point us back to truths that we may have taken for granted. All in all a worthwhile read.

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