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I Want to Believe: Finding Your Way in an Age of Many Faiths Hardcover – January 2, 2008
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Mel Lawrenz takes us through the various major faith options: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Neo-Paganism and Atheism and shows how all these fall short of satisfying the human longing for the one true God. There's a chapter that touches on basic Christian belief using the Apostles' Creed as the framework. Another chapter that deals with the common excuses people often come up with for not accepting the Christian truth claims.
It is a useful book for starters and searchers who mistakenly think 'all religions are basically the same' and gets people to take seriously the ultimate questions that will confront any reflective human beings at one time or another in their lives. I am often surprised at how many people spend more time researching the refrigerator model they intend to purchase than on matters of ultimate truth and consequence. I am grateful for this wonderful resource - winsome, brilliantly written and judiciously blended with interesting real-life stories. I will not hesitate to give it away to anyone who amidst the sea of faiths wonders to himself : 'will the real Saviour please stand up?'
The fifteen chapters in this small book do examine some world religions, but mainly the book addresses why we should believe in Jesus. Specific topics range from human longing to believe to doubt to how we know for certain that belief is real.
I Want to Believe is very conversational and begins with reasons why people seek God and ends with the plan of salvation clearly laid out. That the plan of salvation runs through the book and is explicit in places is this book's major strength. Lawrenz makes good use of Scripture and anecdotes. The anecdotes are at least an enjoyable part of the book. Jesus, Paul, C.S. Lewis, Polycarp and Johnny Cash are among the many, many central to each chapter. Some stories I'd heard and some I'd not.
I wanted to like this book because of it's emphasis, but I found it too busy with too many detours and too many stories. I kept wanting Lawrenz to clearly lay out what he had to say. I wanted it to be deeper than one anecdote after another. I can recommend this work because it is sound theologically even if too wordy and slow to get to the point.