Resource Review: The God Questions
Imagine a book that answers big theological questions in easy-to-understand terms while still giving satisfying answers—questions like these: Is God real? Do all roads lead to heaven? and How can a good God allow suffering? Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
But when a co-worker recently gave me The God Questions by Hal Seed and Dan Grider, I was pleasantly surprised. It consists of 40 daily readings and six small-group sessions. The idea is to do the study over six weeks. Each week has a theme question and each day discusses subsequent questions. And they really are big questions: Is God real? Is the Bible true? Do all roads lead to heaven? Each daily reading discusses a major question in about three pages and includes a fourth page that allows the reader to respond, including a main idea to chew on, a verse to remember, a point to ponder, and space to reflect on personal feelings about the question.
My initial thought after seeing the questions is that the authors would inevitably make one of two mistakes. They’d either explain these huge questions in theological terms that no normal person knows, or talk in terms so simple and fluffy that they don’t actually answer the questions. Luckily, this book does neither. While safe for seekers (it uses accessible language and explains things concisely), this book makes clear its position: God is real, can be trusted, and desires a relationship with each of us. The authors use easy-to-understand language and simple—but not simplistic—intellectual arguments that don’t require a degree in theology (or physics, for that matter) and provide satisfying answers to real questions.
While we might believe these questions are those of only non-believers, these questions also surface in the lives of many Christians. One week’s question struck me in particular: If Christianity is true, why is the church full of hypocrites? Even more practical, one week discusses discovering our purpose and another discusses how we can change our behaviors.
Additionally, we can get a lot to support our faith from the book. One daily reading discusses the books of the Bible, categorizing them, and explaining how we got the Bible we read today. Another week discusses what Muslims believe, including a brief history of the religion, its view of God and the afterlife, its main teachings, and a description of Qu’ran. (There are similar sections on Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity as well.)
At the back of the book, you’ll find a six-session small-group plan. It includes icebreaker questions that go along with the week’s questions, Bible readings, seven discussion questions, and a challenge for the week. The discussion questions include both knowledge-based questions to go along with the daily readings and questions that get to the heart and help readers apply what they’re learning. I think the questions would be beneficial in any adult small group, and could easily be adapted to fit the group’s needs.
In the introduction, the authors state that knowledge can give us confidence in God, ourselves, and our faith. And I believe that confidence can help us submit to God, trusting him to rule our lives and guide our steps. Consider The God Questions for your next small-group study.