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Hard Questions, Real Answers Paperback – October 17, 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William Lane Craig (PhD, University of Birmingham, England; DTheol, University of Munich, Germany) is research professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. He is also the founder of Reasonable Faith (www.reasonablefaith.org), a web-based apologetics ministry that provides a variety of supplementary material to Reasonable Faith.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (October 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581344872
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581344875
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By E. Johnson on March 22, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With 2 Ph.D.'s in his hip pocket and many scholarly writings to his name, William Lane Craig could go through life as a pompous ivory tower dweller. Instead, Craig has made himself available to the common man. From the information he provided Strobel in his layperson works to works like Hard Questions, Craig is understandable for any Christian willing to hear. This is a simple, 8-chapter book that hits issues like doubt, unanswerer prayer, and suffering and evil that would be a benefit to anyone struggling with these issues. The book is not meant to be comprehensive, and certainly with only 8 topics, there is much left out of the book. But what is here is very concise and straightforward. I don't agree with Craig every step of the way, though I understand the process of his thinking. (If you have ever heard him debate, from atheists to Muslims, you would understand why it would be intimidating to disagree with him to his face!) Overall, I recommend this book--have it on the shelf--and when an issue comes up (such as abortion, homosexuality, or whether or not a person can reach God through Christ alone), you will be ready with good information.
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Format: Paperback
The only reason that I haven't given this book 5 stars is because I am working under the assumption that any man-made work can be improved.

However, Craig has outdone himself with this book. Much of his earlier writing contains the same concise logic and strong argumentation, but "Hard Questions, Real Answers" accomplishes this in language anyone can understand. Perhaps this is the book's greatest strength, it does not sacrifice intellectual reasoning and Craig's ability to analyze problems from a variety of perspectives, for popular approval. I mean, it is one thing to write on the relationship of God to Time or to defend the physical resurrection of Jesus; but it is another to tackle the most complex and volatile social issues from a standpoint that is both Christian and scholarly.

Also, this book does not deal merely with 'Christian' problems. The chapters probe the depths of the modern human struggle. The chapter on failure is extremely poignant and insightful in its analysis of how one should react to and come back from personal disappointments and tragedies.

Ultimately, this book is not only a great read, it is an excellent tool for evangelism and discipleship in our postmodern world.
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Format: Paperback
"Don't judge a book by its cover." Everyone has heard that phrase a few times in their life, right? Well, this book -- which upon first sight appears to be a soft evangelical text for teenagers, ala those found in your local Christian book store -- is actually very deep in its thought, and thorough with every area it covers. That is to be expected from Dr. William Lane Craig.

Craig addresses all eight subjects covered in "Hard Questions, Real Answers" very well (the two chapters on the 'problem of evil' were simply top-notch). Contrary to another reviewer who expressed a somewhat incoherent disagreement with Craig's chapter on homosexuality, I believe Craig tackled homosexuality (which is a very difficult topic in the first place) with insight, and showed none of the alleged ignorance.

He also tells of his own personal experiences in several chapters (e.g., the conversion of his two parents nearing the end of his father's life, and how his first attempt at getting a Doctorate in theology failed, despite prayer). Besides merely illustrating a topic, personal sories such as these let the reader know that Craig has experienced and is hence familiar with at least most of the subjects he writes about in his book.

In conclusion of a brief review, this is not typically the type of book one would expect from Dr. Craig, the author of such titles as "The Kalam Cosmological Argument" and "Atheism, Theism, and Big Bang Cosmology". But it is a good read nonetheless for insightful answers to a few specific (but very significant) questions.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In general this was a pretty good book. I have one major gripe, however. When talking about why prayers sometimes go unanswered, he essentially says "you might not be praying hard enough, or care enough, or have enough faith." I take a huge exception to this. There have been people that have refused to take their kids to the hospital because they had enough faith that God would heal them, and those kids died. I can't think of anyone with deeper faith than someone who would gamble the life of their child on it.

Instead, we shouldn't look at God as a genie in a lamp that will grant us our wish if we only pray hard enough. That's a theologically flawed way to view prayer, and Craig shouldn't have given such a ridiculous answer to a question that is being looked at in the wrong way to begin with.
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William Lane Craig (b. 1949) is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. He is also a prominent philosophical apologist (see his debates with atheists, such as God?: A Debate between a Christian and an Atheist and Does God Exist: The Craig-Flew Debate), and author of books such as Reasonable Faith, The existence of God and the beginning of the universe, etc.

He wrote in the Preface to this 2003 book, "This book is a revised and updated version of my earlier book, No Easy Answers. The original book flowed out of a series of sermons I delivered on 'Unpopular Themes,' that is, topics frequently shunned because of the hard questions they raise. As a Christian philosopher and theologian I have been impressed at how much easier it is to raise hard questions than to answer them. Students and laymen ... sometimes pose difficult questions which are even knottier than they themselves realize. They deserve better than pat answers. They deserve real answers, which is what I try to give in this book."

He observes, "the frustrating thing about unanswered prayer is that on occasion none of the obstacles just listed seems to impede the way, and still God does not grant our request.
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