Tom's Reviews > Questions to All Your Answers: The Journey from Folk Religion to Examined Faith

Questions to All Your Answers by Roger E. Olson
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's review
Dec 09, 2008

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bookshelves: 2008, theology, post-modernism, leadership, emerging-church
Read in November, 2008

Roger Olson is a theology professor at Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University. In his book, Questions to All Your Answers he takes head on some of the most heard phrases uttered by christians. He breaks them apart and then thrusts questions back on the phrases.

Some of the better chapters in the book are called, "Jesus is the Answer - So What is the Question?", "The Bible Has All the Answers - So What About Cloning?", and "Money Isn't Bad, Only What We Do With it - So Why Did Jesus Say it's Hard for a Rich Man to Enter Heaven?". These entries take you along for a entertaining, humorous but thought-provoking ride.

For instance, "Jesus is the Answer" - Olson believes that while not intending this result the preoccupation with WWJD has left many folk christians with a "Jesus Only" theology and have lost the Trinity. At it is at this point that he leans into Eastern Orthodox treasure and pulls out "Trinitarian Life." That from them we can learn that, "...knowing and communing with Jesus is one dimension, however crucial, within a larger spirituality of being taken up into the life of the Trinity and enjoying the fellowship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" (pg. 72-73). Of course one of the main problems with this slogan, Jesus is the Answer" is that most people aren't even aware of any need that they have. People, according to Olson, need to know to what questions Jesus is the answer - so therefore we need to start with conversations about music, culture, goals, relationships, world problems - rather than just Jesus is the answer to your problems.

One irritating thing about Olson is that he seems to come from an Arminian point of view. Which is fine, but, he clearly takes jabs at non-Arminians (whether they be Calvinists or whomever). He says a lot of good things, but sometimes those things are drowned out by a constant need to elevate his viewpoint over his point.

It's a good book, some parts were definitely better than others, but all in all a good one to pick up and read through and be challenged by regarding the phrases that christ-followers can easily throw around.

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10/05/2008 page 36
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