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Why I Am a Christian Hardcover – December 3, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
In a time when many Christian authors recommend the claims of Christian faith by descriptions of faith encounters and invitations to "dance with the mystery," Stott, author of many foundational apologetic works, offers a clear and compelling account of the theological basis for his own belief. He begins by explaining the sense of God's own pursuit of him, providing illustrations from the lives of famous Christians with similar experiences. He continues with a logical examination of the claims and character of Jesus as seen in Scripture. The last section discusses the nature and needs of human beings, explaining how those needs are fully met through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The book concludes with a simple invitation for the reader to respond to the claims of Christ personally, offering a sample prayer. For some readers, the book will seem overly structured, since Stott frequently reviews the logical points of each section. For those accustomed to arguments conducted by way of emotive stories, his reliance on logic may feel a bit dry. But readers of a more analytical temperament will find a compelling discussion of the claims of Christ in a remarkably readable, brief form. It's the sort of book that Christians who need a more reasoned, thoughtful approach to their faith will read and then pass along to skeptical friends.
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Stott has long been one of the most effective Christian apologists in English, and his Basic Christianity (1958) is a modern classic. On the evidence of his new book, he has only become more direct and lucid. This is a more gracefully expressed book than Basic Christianity, as befits its more personal tone. In it he isn't teaching, after all, but answering one of the most important questions a believer could be asked. He is a Christian, he says, because he was raised one, to be sure, and because he opened the door to Christ's knock (Revelation 3:20), but also because Christ pursued him to save him, because the claims of Jesus are true, because of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross, because Christianity explains human identity, because surrender to Christ is the key to freedom, and because Christ fulfills his basic aspirations. The six chapters expounding those answers are models of fluency, hard to break away from once begun. They make his concluding invitation to accept Christ very compelling. Ray Olson
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