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Product Details

  • Series: Re: Lit Books
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (April 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433534932
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433534935
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Tough Topics offers every questioning person an opportunity to press thoughtfully into the Bible’s answers. Sam Storms is that rare guide we all are looking for—fair-minded, with no axe to grind. I cheerfully commend Tough Topics for your tough questions!”
Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., Lead Pastor, Immanuel Church, Nashville, Tennessee

“Let’s face it, the church has not always done the best possible job at fielding the hard questions posed to it by both skeptics and members. In the case of the first group, skeptics end up discounting Christianity, dismissing it as irrational, head-in-the-sand religious fanaticism. In the case of the second group, members become frustrated with the Christian faith and often drift away from what they have found to be a shallow, inconsistent, and quite unsatisfying worldview. Sam Storms, is a leader whom has the Lord has wonderfully gifted not only to answer the tough questions, but also to provide an accessible resource for Christian leaders to be better prepared to engage skeptics and church members who wrestle with these issues rather than to rebuff them and discount their difficulties. Sam’s passion is to deal with twenty-five of the most challenging questions you will ever face, and do it in such a way that you become convinced of the answers and are prepared to offer help to others who face them as well. He accomplishes this goal, not by offering his own good ideas and the best of human counsel, but by relying on the wisdom of God as found in Scripture.”
Gregg R. Allison, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Some questions about God and the Bible intrigue us. Others get completely under our skin and frustrate us. The chances are good that if a question is bothering you, you are not the first to ask it! Sam Storms draws on all his pastoral experience in this helpful book as he honestly answers questions some people like to avoid.”
Adrian Warnock, author, Hope Reborn and Raised with Christ

“Sam Storms’s Tough Topics is equally the work of a deeply concerned and caring pastor, and that of a thoughtful, seasoned, and biblically-saturated theologian. As I read this book, specific people kept coming to mind who would be helped greatly by one of more of its chapters—such wisdom, such balance, and such biblical clarity. Readers will likely differ at points with their pastor-theologian guide, but they will rise up and thank him for offering such wise counsel on such an array of difficult and important questions. There’s something here for everyone. Pick up and read, and see how faithful pastoral theology really does bless the church.”
Bruce A. Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“People are inquisitive by nature. It is the way God made us. We have all kinds of questions about Him. When people learn that I teach theology for a living, the first thing they do is begin to ask questions—tough questions. Sam Storms has given us an incredibly useful resource in his book Tough Topics. He has braved the minefield of some of the most difficult questions people have concerning God, the Bible, Church, and Christianity in general. What I like about this work is not simply its accessibility, but Sam’s gentle and balanced scholarship. When we have questions about God, this is no casual thing requiring the opinions of sages on street corners. These are serious questions requiring someone who is well versed in the Bible. Sam has always been one who I go to when I have questions. Now I have the book! And, as Sam says, the answer to these questions do not drive us to be puffed up in knowledge, they drive us to worship.”
C. Michael Patton, Founder, President, and fellow, The Credo House, Edmond, Oklahoma

About the Author

Sam Storms (PhD, University of Texas at Dallas) has spent 40 years in ministry as a pastor, professor, and author. He was visiting associate professor of theology at Wheaton College from 2000 to 2004, and is currently senior pastor at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He is the founder of Enjoying God Ministries and the author of numerous books, including Chosen for Life, Tough Topics: Biblical Answers to 25 Challenging Questions, and Kept for Jesus.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Witty and informative.
John Lanier
You might not agree with all of his conclusions, but you should find his perspective helpful and make you wrestle with what you believe.
Kevin P. Halloran
Each chapter was very well written and having this book in a question and answer format is very useful.
BattleBornNV

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jon K on April 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
"Tough Topics" by Sam Storms is a well presented, and well researched work that is appropriate for both new Christians and seasoned Christians.

Storms tackles 25 dogmatic questions that run the gamut from "What is Blasphemy?" "Are babies who die saved?" to "Can a Christian be demonized?" "Should all Christians speak in tongues?" and "Are Christians Obligated to Tithe?"

Virtually every question was addressed, some from a number of points of view, and backed by scripture. I learned a whole lot more than I thought I would. Herein lies the reason that Christians of all ages must continue to nourish their hearts and minds in their walk with Christ.

Sam Storms is a pastor of a large church in the Oklahoma City area. He bills himself as an "Amillennial, Calvinistic, charismatic, credo-baptistic, complementarian, Christian Hedonist..."

This book is not a quick read. It's based on research, and in the process, the reader will be moved to do some research of his own.

I took away several truths from this excellent resource. First, Storm's treatment of tithing brought me some new insights in that those in early Israel may have been required to tithe up to 27% of their income. I enjoyed Sam's presentation of this.

I scratched my head in a number of discussions, but found myself sharply disagreeing with but one point in the entire volume. During his discussion on whether a Christian can be demonized, I hold a firm opinion on the trichotomy of man. We are body, soul, and spirit. Dr. Storms is of an opposing position, claiming that soul and spirit are one in the same. Thus man is a dichotomous being. We'll just agree to disagree!

Other than this theological difference, I enjoyed and embraced all of Sam Storm's teaching.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Luke Geraty on July 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
I
've been somewhat of a "fan" of Dr. Sam Storms since his contribution to Are Miraculous Gifts for Today, in which he provided the scholarly essay on the Third Wave position to which I hold. Storms has the ability to write for both the scholarly and the popular, a gift which I'd love to see more authors hold!

His new book, Tough Topics: Biblical Answers to 25 Challenging Questions, is exactly what it says. It provides Storms thoughtful responses to questions that are sometimes considered "tough" by many people. The book addresses some of the more common theological debatable subjects (e.g., Losing Salvation, Baptism in the Spirit, Original Sin) as well as some less common subjects for many evangelicals (e.g., Speaking in Tongues, Demonization, Healing in the Atonement). I was even pleased to see that he included a chapter on Infant Salvation!

What I Liked
There's much in Tough Topics that I like. Many of his answers would be essentially the same as mine. His position on Spirit Baptism, whether or not Christians can "lose" their salvation, speaking in tongues, and healing are all so close to my perspective that I might be found telling people, "See Tough Topics for my perspective on [insert topic]."

For example, when it comes to the topic of Spirit Baptism, Storms holds to the view that all Christians are "Spirit baptized" when they become Christians. In other words, all Christians are baptized in the Spirit. However, Storms leaves plenty of room for what the Scriptures call being "filled with the Spirit." According to Storms, when a person becomes a Christian, they are baptized in the Spirit and yet they can be "filled with the Spirit" many times after that conversion experience. Spirit Filling is essentially an empowerment metaphor.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mathew Sims on May 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
4 out of 5 Stars
Author: Sam Storms
Publisher: Crossway/Re: Lit
Buy Tough Topics
Reading Level: Easy

Sam Storms desires to answers tough questions believers ask. He does so pastorally and carefully. He says,
Sadly, many believers walk away from church or from a friend or even from a pastor, frustrated that such issues are either answered badly or met with an "I don't know," or perhaps even ignored altogether. My aim in this book is to overcome that frustration by looking deeply, not superficially, at what Scripture says and deriving clear and persuasive explanations for these thorny matters. (p. 12)
Also, he writes with "the educated layperson in mind" (p. 12). Sam walks through each issue not just to discover the truth but to convey it in love. He writes with a pastors heart.

What I loved. Sam answers these tough questions thoroughly. As quoted earlier, these aren't easy questions and his answers reflect that. Most chapters include a brief survey of the most popular answers to the question and Sam seeks to include the biblical evidence for even the opposing opposition. Related, he roots his answers in the biblical text. He builds texts, stories, and passages to provide solid biblical grounds for everything he teaches.

Second, I love that Sam says, "In other words, the ultimate aim of this book isn't knowledge; it's worship" (p. 13). There are a lot of good books which tackle the tough passages in Scripture but a lot of these are more academic. Nothing wrong there. I'm glad there's a resource now which seeks to dialogue with the average Christian by encouraging them to worship God in the midst of what could be intense trials, doubts, or struggles.

Last, I'll share my favorite chapters out of the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Sam has spent 39 years in ministry as a pastor, professor and author. He was visiting Associate Professor of Theology at Wheaton College from 2000-2004, and is currently Lead Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City. He has authored 22 books and founded Enjoying God Ministries. He's a graduate of The University of Oklahoma (B.A.), Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M) and The University of Texas (Ph.D.). He and his wife Ann have been married for 40 years and are the parents of two grown daughters and have four grandchildren. On a more personal level, Sam loves baseball, books, movies, and anything to do with the Oklahoma Sooners.

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