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Hard Questions, Real Answers

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  244 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Why doesn't God answer my prayers? If God is so powerful, why does evil exist? And if He is so good, why do we suffer?

Nonbelievers, and even Christians, are often troubled by questions about suffering, doubt, failure, and unanswered prayer. Yet careful, compassionate answers are hard to find, in part because evangelicals have not taken the life of the mind seriously enough
Paperback, 172 pages
Published October 17th 2003 by Crossway Books (first published January 1st 2003)
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Feb 25, 2013 Josie rated it it was ok
So Craig's intention in this book is to answer "hard questions" about Christianity (why is there evil? why shouldn't I practice homosexuality?) with equally "hard" and Biblically supported answers. Clearly, there is some philosophical training involved here as well, as we are given the logical v. illogical pathways for a couple of answers. I don't really mind reading theories about why some things are (such as why evil exist) but my real problem with books like these are how things aren't prese ...more
Jill Hudson
Mar 23, 2017 Jill Hudson rated it really liked it
An excellent book for Christians who are going through tough times or even doubting the basics of their faith. This book convincingly tackles all the most troublesome questions, such as: why doesn't God always answer my prayers? How come I feel like a failure? How come the career I feel I was called to hasn't been an obvious success? You may not agree with all his answers, but he doesn't shy away from the issues that really matter.
May 22, 2013 Winston rated it did not like it
Questions Remain Unanswered. Dodging and Mental Gymnastics Galore

I'm just going to tackle Craig's arguments on the Problem of Evil, since most people are likely to pick up this book believing it refutes it. It doesn't The PoE is completely invulnerable when a tri-omni (omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent) god is being debated.

1. Omniscience utterly, unequivocally, negates free will.

Perfect foreknowledge entails that god set A&E up to fail, as well as Hitler to murder 6 million Jews, st
May 17, 2009 Jessica rated it really liked it
I think this book does pretty well with the topics it tackles. However, it's important to recognize beforehand what the book is not about. It does not deal with issues of biblical inerrancy or difficult biblical passages. It does not take on the creation/evolution debate or theological problems like free will vs. predestination or divine foreknowledge. Craig has written books and articles about all of these things, I believe, but this book is not it. Hard Questions, Real Answers deals with some ...more
Mar 20, 2011 Charlotte rated it it was amazing
Dr. Craig is one of my new favorite authors. He's unquestionably gifted with insight, and what's more...he can explain it in language you can understand! This book does cover several hard questions including Doubt, Unanswered Prayer, Failure, Suffering & Evil, Abortion, Homosexuality- questions people don't dare ask in front of other people. Fascinating. He answers questions that a skeptic or agnostic, or even an atheist, would ask, and he answers them using philosophical techniques, not jus ...more
Nov 30, 2016 John rated it liked it
Craig writes this an an entry level book that is intended to be accessible to most readers. Ultimately, I think this effort falls a bit flat. The book doesn't have a coherent thread through it (it is taken from various lectures he has given), and so it reads unevenly. His strongest chapters are probably his middle chapters on the problem of evil, but they feel a bit of a strange fit in the book as they're written for quite a bit more sophisticated audience than his other chapters. His chapter on ...more
Filip Sekkelsten
Sep 23, 2016 Filip Sekkelsten rated it liked it
Shelves: verdenssyn, teologi
Det er en del gode svar i boken, men den tar ikke opp alle spørsmålene jeg lurer på. Dessuten likte jeg ikke alle svarene, ettersom jeg er delvis uenig i presupposisjonene de er bygd på. Svaret på at det antallet mennesker som blir frelst er fordi dette er den best mulige verden hvor fri vilje (libertansk) og Guds plan kan sameksistere (?). Det er selvfølgelig mulig, skjønt ikke veldig overbevisende. Hva med de som aldri fikk høre evangeliet? Er det kun andre, tidligere kristnes feil som ikke dr ...more
Dec 12, 2008 Brian rated it really liked it
probably one of the best quick-answer apologetics books for the general public...this is one you can confidently hand out to a Christian struggling with one or more of the most common questions we all face...definitely not a silver bullet though.
Wayne Yates
Feb 04, 2013 Wayne Yates rated it really liked it
Some good questions discussed...and in typical fashion Craig brings solid perspectives to the topics. Written much more to typical laypeople than some of his more technical books which expound more on the logical details.
Jeffery Williams
Dec 29, 2011 Jeffery Williams rated it really liked it
When it comes to logic and philosophy, I feel this book was spot on. I think he misinterprets some of the Bible passages, but he's consistent with evangelical theology. It definitely helped me think through some of the issues.
Dec 11, 2015 Denise rated it liked it
I would have rated this higher except I stopped and started too many times. The last chapter was difficult to read and understand for me. This is probably a good example where a paperback would be better than using an ebook version.
Jess Martin
Dec 28, 2015 Jess Martin rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Good basic answers to some of the more difficult questions that I've thought of about God. Kind of like philosophical answers delivered simply. The most valuable and memorable portions for me were where Craig gets a little personal.
Feb 21, 2013 Robert rated it really liked it
This is a very sound book not too hard to read unlike some of his other books. The chapter on Abortion is a great help, especially in helping me with my Philosophy class what is a human and what us a fetus??
Alex Hume
Apr 28, 2015 Alex Hume rated it it was amazing
A thorough treatment of philosophical and moral issues facing the Christian faith. I would recommend this book to anyone engaging or planning to engage in dialogue with non-believers on the Christian faith.
Steve lockwood
Jul 12, 2010 Steve lockwood rated it it was amazing
Loved it. It's a good read that speaks to non philosophy majors. If you can follow an argument you will love this book.
dere r real frnssss
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William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. He and his wife Jan have two grown children.

At the age of sixteen as a junior in high school, he first heard the message of the Christian gospel and yielded his life to Christ. Dr. Craig pursued his undergraduate studies at Wheaton College (B.A. 1971) and graduate studies at Trinity Evange
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“As Christians we face two tasks in our evangelism: saving the soul and saving the mind, that is to say, not only converting people spiritually, but converting them intellectually as well. And the Church is lagging dangerously behind with regard to this second task.

If the church loses the intellectual battle in one generation, then evangelism will become immeasurably more difficult in the next. The war is not yet lost, and it is one which we must not lose: souls of men and women hang in the balance.

For the sake of greater effectiveness in witnessing to Jesus Christ Himself, as well as for their own sakes, evangelicals cannot afford to keep on living on the periphery of responsible intellectual existence.

Thinking about your faith is indeed a virtue, for it helps you to better understand and defend your faith. But thinking about your faith is not equivalent to doubting your faith.

Doubt is never a purely intellectual problem. There is a spiritual dimension to the problem that must be recognized. Never lose sight of the fact that you are involved in spiritual warfare and there is an enemy of your soul who hates you intensely, whose goal is your destruction, and who will stop at nothing to destroy you.

Reason can be used to defend our faith by formulating arguments for the existence of God or by refuting objections. But though the arguments so developed serve to confirm the truth of our faith, they are not properly the basis of our faith, for that is supplied by the witness of the Holy Spirit Himself. Even if there were no arguments in defense of the faith, our faith would still have its firm foundation.

The more I learn, the more desperately ignorant I feel. Further study only serves to open up to one's consciousness all the endless vistas of knowledge, even in one's own field, about which one knows absolutely nothing.

Don't let your doubts just sit there: pursue them and keep after them until you drive them into the ground.

We should be cautious, indeed, about thinking that we have come upon the decisive disproof of our faith. It is pretty unlikely that we have found the irrefutable objection. The history of philosophy is littered with the wrecks of such objections. Given the confidence that the Holy Spirit inspires, we should esteem lightly the arguments and objections that generate our doubts.

These, then, are some of the obstacles to answered prayer: sin in our lives, wrong motives, lack of faith, lack of earnestness, lack of perseverance, lack of accordance with God’s will. If any of those obstacles hinders our prayers, then we cannot claim with confidence Jesus’ promise, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it”.

And so I was led to what was for me a radical new insight into the will of God, namely, that God’s will for our lives can include failure. In other words, God’s will may be that you fail, and He may lead you into failure! For there are things that God has to teach you through failure that He could never teach you through success.

So many in our day seem to have been distracted from what was, is and always will be the true priority for every human being — that is, learning to know God in Christ.

My greatest fear is that I should some day stand before the Lord and see all my works go up in smoke like so much “wood, hay, and stubble”.

The chief purpose of life is not happiness, but knowledge of God.

People tend naturally to assume that if God exists, then His purpose for human life is happiness in this life. God’s role is to provide a comfortable environment for His human pets. But on the Christian view, this is false. We are not God’s pets, and the goal of human life is not happiness per se, but the knowledge of God—which in the end will bring true and everlasting human fulfilment. Many evils occur in life which may be utterly pointless with respect to the goal of producing human happiness; but they may not be pointless with respect to producing a deeper knowledge of God.”
“The chief purpose of life is not happiness, but knowledge of God.

People tend naturally to assume that if God exists, then His purpose for human life is happiness in this life. God’s role is to provide a comfortable environment for His human pets. But on the Christian view, this is false. We are not God’s pets, and the goal of human life is not happiness per se, but the knowledge of God—which in the end will bring true and everlasting human fulfilment. Many evils occur in life which may be utterly pointless with respect to the goal of producing human happiness; but they may not be pointless with respect to producing a deeper knowledge of God.”
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