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Building Belief: Constructing Faith from the Ground Up Paperback – August 1, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Meister is very good a bringing difficult concepts down to the rest of us who don't live in ivory towers.
On top of that, I love the way Meister asks his readers to "use" his book rather than just "read" his book. And he gives both sides of the story regarding religion - which, to me, is paramount when trying to discover what in this life we're going to believe. (And just in case there is any confusion, we should believe what's true.) He prods readers to not just look at evidences for the validity of Christianity, he also encourages readers to check out other world views and concepts contrary to Christianity. He invites further study of Theism, Pantheism and Atheism - the three world views he says every religion can fall into. He even recommends further reading of the best that he's read in each area. And, in the end given all the evidence, he allows you to make your own decision.
While I enjoy Lee Strobel's books - The Case for Faith, The Case for Christ, The Case for a Creator - the one criticism I have of them is that Strobel interviews only Christians. Of course, the people he interviews are no doubt learned, top-of-their-game scholars who give a very compelling case for the validity of Christianity.
But Meister challenges readers to explore everything and land where the evidence seems most reasonable regarding religion and where to find truth in religion. He contends there is truth, religious beliefs are not merely subjective and based on our own personal preferences. The book is valuable for Christians and non Christians alike.
To deal with this, Chad has created his 6-tiered Apologetics Pyramid, which begins where you must these days: with the concept of objective truth itself. As he accurately points out, a stated disbelief in objective truth is self-defeating (as well as, often, a smokescreen), since that affirmation is itself an objective truth claim! Following his treatment of the Truth issue, Meister works his way up through the next conceptual levels of Worldviews, Theism, Revelation (how God has revealed Himself through Scripture), and Resurrection (the supreme apologetic for Christ and the Christian faith). Finally, after covering all that necessary territory, we get to the Gospel (the Christian message of salvation in Christ), which no longer floats around in conceptual mid-air. Fantastic!
Building Belief is one of my top-10 or so essential books for Christians. It deserves to be read and studied by all literate believers, then put to use in the context of relational, lifestyle evangelism. As a pastor who circulates in the surrounding culture (primarily, as a jazz musician/music educator), I have presented the Apologetics Pyramid on numerous occasions -- often by drawing it on a napkin. Twice I have also based an adult Sunday School class on this book.
But perhaps best of all is not just great content and presentation, but the logic of the book is striking and developed throughout. Meister draws his conclusions without overstating the case, and builds a cumulative case for Christianity instead of claiming that each point independently supports Christianity (like a house with too many pillars). It is refreshing to read well-thought-out arguments with the appropriate conclusion made.
All that is to say that this book is an important contribution to the field of apologetics, for Christians and non-Christians alike. I highly recommend it.
I personally have recommended this book to fellow pastors, students, lay leaders, parishioners, and co-workers, and unbelievers. I am confident that more people will experience salvation and eternity with Jesus because this book helped them come to or grow in their faith in Christ.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good information for the reader interested in learning more about their faith. It provides clear and understandable information for the reader.Published on March 24, 2014 by Howard Cooper
This book is helpful to those who want to help others understand the logical foundations for the Christian faith. Read morePublished on February 12, 2013 by Mildred D. Dorsey
We attended a church for almost a year and not once did we hear the Gospel Proclaimed. Why? I believe that the Pastor was ashamed of it. Read morePublished on September 21, 2008 by Saint and Sinner Simultaneously
Building Belief is a resource for seekers and believers. Meister uses a pyramid to build from one truth on to the next, each building on the last--a very useful tool for those who... Read morePublished on October 30, 2007 by Jennifer A. Kintner
Dr. Meister's "Apologetics Pyramid" starts with the broadest of topics: what is truth, and climbs to the peak with the good news of Jesus Christ. Read morePublished on November 12, 2006 by pcaame
Chad Meister has the unique ability to walk you from the base of the pyramid to the apex in such a way that it is virtually undeniable to disclaim the existence of God. Read morePublished on August 10, 2006 by Richard G. Motuelle