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Has Christianity Failed You? Hardcover – June 23, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This is a book of simplicity, subtlety, and beauty. Weaving together memorable anecdotes with graceful prose and striking observations, Ravi Zacharias gives us Christian solutions not only for the head but also for the heart.” -- Dinesh D’Souza

“Ravi Zacharias applies his unique gifts to address whether Christianity has failed us or we have failed its Author---the Author of life---and ourselves. With fearless intellectual honesty he acknowledges shortcomings of the church, but rejects, as unbiblical, the option of ‘jettison[ing] the institution that Jesus established for the propagation of the ultimate truth about life.’ Ravi shows that a Christian’s feelings that God (or Christianity) has failed him or her are not a result of God’s abandonment, but of his or her turning away from God’s teachings and will. But to experience God’s ‘nearness,’ we must pay the cost that any relationship of love and commitment demands. To rebuild the ultimate relationship---the one for which we were created---and to find contentment and purpose in our lives, we must turn back to Jesus Christ and place our trust in him.” -- David Limbaugh

From the Back Cover

In 2006, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) held an open forum at the Fox Theater in Atlanta to address the subject: 'Has Christianity Failed You?' Tickets were sold for the event and---to the complete surprise of everyone---the event was sold out with a capacity crowd of over 5,000. People lined up offering to buy tickets from folks in line for higher prices. Before the event, an RZIM cameraman walked the streets and asked people if they had rejected the faith they held at one time. One answered that, because of a Christian's rejection of his gay lifestyle he had done just that. Another answered that she had left her faith because she had fallen into adultery and could never live it down in the church. Others had their own reasons. Some said it was just intellectually untenable in an age of reason. They chose to come to the event to judge if there were adequate answers. It is estimated that for every one person who writes a letter or attends an event, there are one thousand who agree. If the Atlanta crowd was any indication, the question is real and troubling. Why is it that many live with silent doubt, many leaving the 'evangelical fold' for something else? Is there something wrong with the message, the communicator, the hearer...or is it all three? It's time to ask the hard questions of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ and why it seems as though God has made it so hard to continue believing. In fact, the son of a prominent U.S. Senator phoned me with that very question. 'Why has God made it so hard to believe in Him?' Such skepticism is not just representative of the hostile; it also represents many honest questioners. This book attempts to lay out the response to those within as well as those outside the Christian faith so as to understand what it is we believe and why it is so hard to do so. More to the point: Why it is actually so hard to deny God and still make sense out of life? In the end the answers should be both felt and real, with the added truth that God is nearer than you think. He desires that we sense Him very near to us and not distant. But closeness comes at a cost just as any relationship of love and commitment does.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; 1 edition (June 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310269555
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310269557
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias answers the call to those Christians who believe that Christianity has failed them with his characteristic spirit of humble grace. Christ followers, as well as those who are seeking to better understand the Christian faith and how it "works itself out" in our ever-shifting societal concept of faith, God and its pertinence to life on earth, will appreciate Zacharias's thoughtful and intellectual approach. Readers will certainly find much more than they might expect within the pages of this heavyweight text on a number of theological issues.

Zacharias opens the book by defining "Who Is Jesus?" from an Old Testament story-by-story unveiling of who God says He is. He very eloquently paints word pictures of who Jesus is by sharing numerous scripture references to Him as the Son of David, Son of Man, and Son of God and Savior. This full-bodied account of Jesus, as described throughout the Bible, offers readers the soundest basis for seeing Jesus Christ in accurate terminology.

The author also does a marvelous job sharing what it means to be a Christian; detailing points of tension concerning faith matters; looking at incoherence on the topic of pain squarely in the eye; unpacking the two phrases "purpose driven" and "reason driven"; and asking what differences prayer and Christianity make.

Particularly appealing to today's Christian (and skeptic) will be Zacharias's persuasive argument found in "Points of Tension," where he deftly handles the hot topic of suffering and pain versus the notion that a loving God would not permit (or cannot control) such evil to exist in His followers' lives (or even in the world at large).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book addresses a topic that many Christians deal with but are often are too ashamed to admit. Ravi, in his usual inimitable fashion, helps the reader to navigate the oft stormy waters of being a child of God. Every Christian will find themselves, at one time or another, subjected to afflictions and trials that will test their faith. This book is a reminder that God is much bigger than our circumstance and that if we cling to the immutable truths about and attributes of our God, if we draw near to him, we will find ourselves with a very different mindset about the turmoil that of our lives. I am reading it a second time!
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Format: Hardcover
I will be honest, the book is probably a 3.5 (rounded up to a 4.0); not because it is not good, but because I always expect great things from someone as skilled and well-travleled as Ravi. The book is at times (mostly in the middle) a little dry and sometimes hard to keep tract with where Ravi is wanting you to go, but having listened to the audio with Ravi himself reading, it helped to better outline his points. The beginning points and the concluding chapters bring together the heart of the message in simple stating:
"Don't blame Christ on the church/Christians failing you; instead recognize that people are full of problems so hold Christ-ianity accountable to Christ and church-ianity to the people. (And there is DEFINITELY a difference between the two.)"
I do wish that Ravi would have went further with this point and been a little more blunt vs. sugar coating/walking on egg shells with it; but nonetheless, Ravi solidly (yet passively), challenges the self-proclaimed Christian to look hard in the mirror as well as the non-Christian to not place the church coming up short on Christ.
-- Definitely word reading though I would recomend the audio book in this instance.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Within this timely book, Ravi Zacharias explores several questions people have concerning Christianity. The discussion is lively and direct. Topics include "Who Is Jesus", "What Does It Mean To Be A Christian", "Points of Tension", "What Difference Does Christianity Make', and other topics of great interest to those who wonder why Christians are not all alike and prayers are not always answered to their liking.

With humbleness and candor, Ravi urges all who have left Christianity to return to the faith, study scripture afresh, and direct thoughts toward a faith worth living for.

I first read Ravi's memoir, "Walking From East To West" and was captured by his intelligence, writing style, and sincerity. I've since read several more of his works. This book reaches out to reassure skeptics and believers that have given up that Christianity is alive and well!

This book is 234 pages of examining Christianity against all other alternatives. Ravi believes the reader will be convinced that Christianity has not failed you and he makes his case well. I am giving this effort five stars.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is written for those struggling with questions of faith and those who have left the church.

Throughout the book the author attempts to answer questions such as "Who is Jesus?", "What Does it Mean to be a Christian," and "Does Prayer make a difference?"

I say "attempts" because most often his answers are vague and the chapters ramble on with endless illustrations and anecdotes. I found that the excessive use of illustrations actually detracted from the book and often muddied the waters rather than clarifying the point he was trying to make. He says on several occasions that he doesn't want to use theological terms, yet often theological terms are what best describe theological ideas. To refuse to use them assumes that the reader is either ignorant or unable to learn "big words."

I did find the last two chapters to be quite worth reading and deserving of a resounding "Amen" in that he finally gets to the root of the issue - churches who have compromised the gospel and have made promises that God never made, leading people to feel that they have been let down, when the truth is that they had the wrong expectation of Christianity in the first place.

Overall, it was a bit of a tedious book to read and I was left feeling that he didn't thoroughly answer the questions that he posed in the book.

I must mention that I did receive a complimentary copy of the book from Zondervan, but that in no way influenced my opinion of it.
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