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Life's Biggest Questions: What the Bible Says about the Things That Matter Most [Kindle Edition]

Erik Thoennes
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Book Description

If we were to compile the biggest questions pertaining to life, we would face some daunting submissions: Does God exist? What is God like? How will it all end? In this accessible book Erik Thoennes—a preaching pastor and theology professor—asks and answers 15 of the most important questions we can ask about God, the Bible, Jesus, and the church. 

Readers will find his answers clear, helpful, and above all biblical. Life’s Biggest Questions is a great resource for new Christians and for those looking for concise ways to answer difficult questions. Each chapter concludes with a Scripture verse for meditation and memorization, questions for application and discussion, and suggestions for further study.

Editorial Reviews


“Dr. Thoennes is a masterful teacher. With biblical precision and profound understanding, he comes to grips with the most often asked questions about the gospel. The beauty of following Christ comes through with such clarity that the reader will want to fall in love with Jesus all over again.”
Robert E. Coleman, Distinguished Senior Professor of Evangelism and Discipleship, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

“Helpful, concise, accessible: this book will provide clarity and conviction for those looking for answers to the big questions.”
Josh Moody, Senior Pastor, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois; author, Journey to Joy: The Psalms of Ascent 

“In clear, insightful and relevant ways Thoennes tackles some of life’s most bewildering questions. His treatment of the perennial dilemmas that have plagued inquisitive minds avoids easy clichés and unrealistic answers. Thoennes artfully and biblically turns the question marks of sincere seekers into exclamation points that undergird life with confidence and certainty. This book is a one of a kind resource among similar books that are either too light and unrealistic or too heavy to get our heads around. As such, it is a welcome arrival and an important read—the kind of book that you are happy to share with a friend!”
Joseph M. Stowell, President, Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, Michigan

“Socrates’ well-known statement, ‘The unexamined life is not worth living,’ is an entirely appropriate start to Life's Biggest Questions. Stepping outside of one’s day-to-day existence to reflect on the big-picture questions is understandable and commendable. This book clearly, concisely, and thoughtfully presents answers from an evangelical Christian perspective. Thoennes is not only able to articulate Christian theology and history, but also help readers think through the implications for their own lives.”
Heather Campbell, vice president, Atheist Coalition of San Diego

“A concise and engaging introduction to the core beliefs of the Christian faith that would be helpful both to followers of Christ and those who are investigating the Christian faith and want to understand what Christians believe. Not only does Thoennes show how these beliefs are rooted in Scripture but he also helps us see how they practically relate to the Christian life.”
Keith Johnson, director, Theological Education and Development, Campus Crusade for Christ

“A thorough and accessible introduction to what Christians believe and why we believe it. Thoennes encourages believers and non-believers alike to examine their assumptions in light of biblical truth and to consider the life-altering implications of their beliefs. Life’s Biggest Questions is an encouraging, pastoral introduction to Christianity. Thoennes makes the case that all Christians—from the seminary student to the homemaker—will benefit from the study of theology, and that our lives are profoundly affected by a true knowledge of God. Reading this book has been an encouragement to my faith—bolstering and clarifying my understanding of truth and deepening my appreciation of God and his beautiful work of redemption. The discussion questions at the end of each chapter illustrate the practical significance of theology and will lead readers to fruitful examination of their beliefs and helpful applications of doctrinal truths. Small groups, churches, and individuals will benefit from Thoennes’ pastoral invitation to engage with the most important questions in life.”
Laura Rosenkranz, homemaker; educator

“It is refreshing to see a book that addresses our deepest concerns from a distinctively theological perspective. Professor Thoennes is a master communicator, and Life's Biggest Questions is marked by an accessible, interesting style. The book is filled with content and distinctively characterized by repeated examples of practical application. It is a fun read and would make an excellent text for a course in theology or Christian worldview.”
J. P. MorelandDistinguished Professor of Philosophy, Biola University; author, The Soul: How We Know It’s Real and Why It Matters

“This splendid book provides clear and concise answers to life’s greatest questions. It is a perfect volume for intelligent truth seekers and Christians who want to build a firmer biblical foundation for their faith.”
Lyle W. Dorsett, Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

“People without questions may have deluded themselves into thinking they have all the answers. Being finite and fallen should awaken curiosity in the heart of any honest person. Thoennes does more than encourage the asking of questions. He directs readers to the Scriptures as a source of answers both wise and good. Furthermore, he cultivates curiosities to morph into questions that ripen into the rich fruit of wonder, awe, and eventually worship. I know this, because he is my friend. My life has been encouraged by his personal counsel as well as by this book.”
Jerry Root, Associate Professor of Evangelism and Leadership, Wheaton College; coauthor, The Sacrament of Evangelism; Associate Director, Institute for Strategic Evangelism, Wheaton College

“This is an easy read about profound truths. Thoennes’ book is bigger on the inside than it appears on the outside. He writes with elegant simplicity about biblical doctrine, with clear conceptualization and user-friendly prose concerning the basic doctrines of the Scriptures. Thoennes’ trustworthy, sturdy, and receptor-oriented writing puts the nourishment of the Word within the reader’s reach. It is a joy to think after him. Since our spirituality and relationship with God flows directly from our theology and our beliefs about God, Thoennes’ work will be of interest to anyone looking for a basic biblical foundation for soulcare and spiritual formation work.”
Betsy A. Barber, director, Center for Spiritual Renewal, Biola University; associate director, Institute for Spiritual Formation, Talbot School of Theology

“I can't think of anybody better suited to explain the mysteries of the universe than Erik Thoennes. Life's Biggest Questions is a compelling read.”
Mark Joseph, author, Faith, God & Rock 'n' Roll; columnist, The Huffington Post

About the Author

Erik Thoennes (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is professor and department chair of biblical and theological studies at Biola University and a pastor at Grace Evangelical Free Church in La Mirada, California. He is the author of Godly Jealousy and numerous articles.

Product Details

  • File Size: 464 KB
  • Print Length: 178 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1433526719
  • Publisher: Crossway Books (June 23, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005D1MG3K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,919 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Discussion Guide for small groups October 27, 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is not an in-depth look at the questions it addresses, but it gives a short synopsis of each question and then at the end of the chapter provides discussion questions as well as a list of other resources to be able to do further study. There are sixteen chapters and each chapter deals with a different question. Some of the questions are;

Chapter 2 Does God Exist
Chapter 8 Who is Jesus Christ
Chapter 10 What did Jesus Christ Accomplish
Chapter 16 How will it all End

This is a small sampling but gives you an idea of what is addressed. Erik Thoennes brought these 16 questions to his short book because of the work he has done with students at Talbot Seminary and Biola University as well as in the Pastorate. I think each chapter is well thought through, laid out well and guides you through a set of scriptures that address the topic as well as giving some insight into the topic.

But the book does stop short of giving a full dialogue about the questions. It is not like "Evidence That Demands a Verdict" where you get long chapters that delve into all the complexity of questions. Instead these are short chapters, main points given and then discussions questions that follow to help guide you to answers.

I think that people with questions may find the book lacking a bit in substance for them. But I would suggest that you use the book with a small group. That is how I have been using it and I think it works very well for that. My group reads and thinks about a chapter a week and then we come together to discuss it. It gives me a chance to hear their thoughts, let them dialogue and then for me to provide more information to further answer the questions that Erik brings to the table.

So, I think this is a nice book that gives a good springboard for small groups to talk about questions that many people in our culture today are asking, both Christian and Non-Christians.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
" 'I know God's will for your life.' When I tell this to my students, they sometimes think this means that I've received a prophetic word from God, ..., the vocation they will have, or the graduate school they will attend. Their eyes often show a bit of disappointment when I tell him what I really mean by this declaration." -- Erik Thoennes

Marked by clarity, conciseness, and briskness for truth seekers as well as Christian believers. Does God exist? Is there life after death? What is the vision, and mission of human life? How should we then live, in the words of Fracis Schaefer? How to attain eternal life, the question the young rich man asked Jesus? These are legitimate questions that deserve a clear and straight forward answer. These could initiate a revival of conscience awareness, that Church fathers called Metanoia, repentance by change of the heart (thought or intellect).

I found Dr. Thoennes answers clear, systematic, for all readers, and biblically rooted for Christians. These answers are expected to constitute a course of 'Systematic Theology' for the lay and novice reader on the subject of Church teaching. Each of the sixteen chapter answers a question, and articulates Scripture based response, concluded with a verse for meditation, a faith enhancing tradition. The questions for application, discussion, and suggestions for further study, these are the Catechetical (Q & A) engaging a virtual dialogue with an experienced preaching teacher.

I am encouraged by this "Guide to the Perplexed," who like Nichodimus, and the Samaritan woman helped by their questions to hear the answers that lead to eternal life. Outside the Seminary, Catechumen's guide which helped new believers, preparing for baptism into the Church.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book in search of a bible study class August 10, 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In this small but dense book, the author, an evangelical Christian pastor and scholar, answers 15 Big Questions using the bible as his reference. Each chapter addresses a different question and contains not only a discussion of the question but also a verse of scripture that represents the answer, questions for discussion, and a list of recommended additional readings.

Based on the book's title and product description, I expected a more accessible volume, but the reading level of this book is fairly high and on the spectrum from popular literature to scholarly tome, this book definitely skews toward the scholarly side. Also, the author's choice of "Life's Biggest Questions" is based on the fundamental premises that God does exist, Jesus is the son of God, and that the bible is the inerrant word of God, so those questions, which many people would consider to be Big Questions, are not addressed.

I would not recommend this book without reservation for the casual reader who knows little about the bible and is interested only in an overview of the Christian perspective on the questions addressed in the book. I think the book is a bit too formal and scholarly for that purpose. However, this book is ideally suited for a bible study class or as one of the readings for a late high school or college class on comparative religion or the bible. I think this book would be most productively used in a setting that allows some group discussion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for Bible studies August 3, 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
his is a nice little book - about 174 pages, and not all of those are actually read (some are blank), that briefly gives the reader an overview of the Christian faith. It covers such topics as sin, the Holy Spirit, How to Become a Christian, etc. It's a great little book for those who would like to know more about Christians, how to become one, and what it all means.

My only complaint about this book is that I think it could have done a MUCH better job of detailing how one actually becomes a Christian. That was quite vague and not at all to the point. Left me wondering how folks would make that decision after reading this book.

Other than that, I learned a lot myself. It helps you to understand why you believe what you believe and gives you the biblical evidence to back it up, and why you should become a Christian. Great book, great gift, took about 2 hours to read. Recommend!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 100% recommended!
Great Book! It answers the questions that New believers must have and it clarifies some of the things that Christians might still have.
Published 9 months ago by Karina
2.0 out of 5 stars Way Too Difficult
Maybe I misunderstood the mission of this book, but it is not written in any easy to understand fashion. Read more
Published on June 21, 2012 by Mariane Matera
3.0 out of 5 stars I must admit to peeking at other reviews for this one...
I try hard not to be colored by any other reviews when I'm writing my own reviews. While I acknowledge that can lead to what seems to be duplicated material in my review, I'd like... Read more
Published on April 24, 2012 by terpfan1980
4.0 out of 5 stars God apologetics primer
I admit that I chose this book, Life's Biggest Questions: What the Bible Says about the Things that Matter Most, because I saw a review on the back cover from Heather Campbell, the... Read more
Published on April 13, 2012 by Jason Kanz
3.0 out of 5 stars Designed for New Christians rather than Non Christians
I have to say that this book was a major disappointment for me. I believe that life is full of questions that are best answered by the Christian worldview. Read more
Published on March 20, 2012 by Drew Ross
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to the core beliefs of Christianity
"Life's Biggest Questions" is a concise introduction to some of the most important and core beliefs of Christianity and will be a useful reference for both Christian believers and... Read more
Published on February 22, 2012 by Jamie Wilson
3.0 out of 5 stars Gets a little complicated
An attempt to answer life's biggest questions as seen through the Bible is evidently what the purpose of this book is. Read more
Published on January 31, 2012 by Alan Beggerow
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing summary of Christianity
I think this book is terribly mis-titled. And I'm not sure I agree with the author's assessment of what Life's Biggest Questions actually are. Read more
Published on January 19, 2012 by Writer Mom
4.0 out of 5 stars A tad brief
I like his thinking. I like his answers. I like his style. But for serious evangelizing with someone who is adamant and assured, this does not provide enough ammunition. Read more
Published on January 3, 2012 by J. C Clark
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent book, misleading title
This book has been sitting on my self waiting for me to read and review it for several months. I have almost stopped reading paperback books except for plane rides. Read more
Published on December 27, 2011 by Adam Shields
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