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Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World's Largest Religion

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  2,580 ratings  ·  455 reviews
Although many people suggest that Christianity is declining, research indicates that it continues to be the world's most popular worldview. But even so, the Christian faith includes many controversial beliefs that non-Christians find hard to accept. This book explores 12 issues that might cause someone to dismiss orthodox Christianity--issues such as the existence of suffe ...more
Hardcover, 239 pages
Published April 7th 2019 by Crossway Books (first published March 25th 2019)
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bookywormy I ran out of space to write in the Question box. So here's my continuation.

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I ran out of space to write in the Question box. So here's my continuation.

If I've accurately summarized her question, then the answer is "Yes, you can be a Christian without first becoming Jewish." I'm really stuck on this passage. Is this a typo? Or am I misunderstanding what the author is saying?(less)

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Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith
Rebecca McLaughlin, a fairly new face in the apologetics crowd, responds to the most common objections to Christianity with charity and facts. As McLaughlin shows, the claims that Christianity denigrates women and promotes slavery are not only counter-factual but would have also surprised the apostles and other early Church leaders like Aquinas and Augustine. Each rebuttal to each objection is concise and McLaughlin treats the critics with nothing but respect.
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I know it’s only May, but I’m declaring it now: This is the 2019 Christian book of the year.
Mark Jr.
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, kindle, 2019
What first attracted me to Rebecca McLaughlin’s Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion was the title. I actually assumed it was a non-Christian book. Second was the author: I read a piece of hers on TGC that I liked. Third, to be honest, was that Crossway was willing to give me a free copy in exchange for an honest review, no strings attached.

So here I go: McLaughlin is easy to read, has done some good homework, has a compelling personal story, and write
Ayla Norris
Meh probably more like a 2.5 if I’m honest.

The problem I have with this book isn’t the content but that the content presented does not always answer the questions presented. For most of the chapters, I was left wondering how this actually confronts Christianity, when the “arguments” are surface level, and at times, not relevant to the question she is arguing.
She starts each chapter with a story/analogy (no problem there) and then summarized what she will “unpack” throughout the chapter. But, mo
Jonathan Bechtel
Dec 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
In typical Christian apologist fashion, she gives praise to her religious beliefs as being the ultimate meaning of our existence and no others belief system can match what Christianity offers, except she isn’t alone in her thinking that her faith has ultimate meaning. Other religions say that same thing, but why should she look into them when she has “the way, the truth and the life “? While I will say she was more generous with the failings of her faiths past, she shields her faith from the ske ...more
Michele Morin
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rebecca McLaughlin’s Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion lays down a foundation of sinewy truth that pushes back against the temptation of simplistic answers or the tendency toward complacent dismissal of thoughtful skepticism.

The truth is that Christianity will stand up to scrutiny, but Christians must also stand up and become informed adherents to our faith as we strive to love God fully–heart, soul, and mind. McLaughlin unpacks twelve questions, incuba
Hunter Beless
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Confronting Christianity is an incredibly helpful book for all believers. I feel more equipped to share my faith, particularly in the highly educated, academic environment my husband and I find ourselves in while he's attending Tuck Business School at Dartmouth. You definitely want to get the hard copy for your bookshelf, as I envision myself coming back to this book as a reference many times over the years. A must read, in my opinion! ...more
Willy Marz Thiessam
Truly a pleasant read. Its a pretty basic defense of Christianity as its practiced today in the USA. Does it answer all questions or truly "Confront Christianity", well no. But if you are a professed Christian there is little here that you will find distasteful, or even that you would disagree with.

To me it skims the surface and I did honestly want something more in depth and questioning. But you can't fault the author for writing the book that she thought was necessary to confront the questions
Jill Mackin
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I found it well researched, well written, compassionate and thought-provoking. I'll definitely re-read it later this year. ...more
Jun 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
Confronting Christianity is a book that promised to critically attack Christianity then prove that it does in fact hold up under criticism. Instead of all that we got a book that was clearly written by a Christian who cannot properly question their faith, for people of that same mindset. Let me explain.

First of all a few disclaimers: If you are looking for a book that truly gets to the heart of why so many people question Christianity this is not the book. If you are looking for a book that expl
Kirk Miller
Mar 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Christianity is the world's largest religion. And as Rebecca McLaughlin argues, if nothing else just given the sheer mass of those who find its beliefs compelling, everyone at some point should give serious Christianity deep consideration.

If you are not a worshipper of Jesus, I want to commend this book to you and ask you to consider reading it.

A very good and thoughtful book addressing some of today's most pressing issues re the veracity of Christianity. Believers as well will be both encourage
Dan Curnutt
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rebecca McLaughlin gives us a good look at 12 hard questions that people are asking about Christianity. As with any good apologetics book the author wrestles with questions that are not just obscure, but with questions that are being asked everyday by normal people who are just curious about the claims of religion.

What happens when people ask their questions? Most of the time Christians have a tendency to get protective, or nervous, or frightened that their faith does not really answer the quest
Alex Adkins
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Finally, an apologetic novel that does not mince words, answers both scripturally and anecdotally, and is told from the lens of a woman. From the beginning, McLaughlin not only supports Christianity philosophically, historically, and ontologically, but also she seamlessly elaborates on why atheism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism fail to hold up.

Each chapter answers a hard question and when McLaughlin dives into, "Is Christianity homophobic?", I was awestruck. Never have I read an author so vulne
Kevin Halloran
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Superb. Now one of my top recommended apologetics books. It’s up there with Keller’s two books yet an easier read. I hope McLaughlin writes for years to come.
May 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The book tackles 12 objections to Christianity that are fairly common today, but given that only one chapter is reserved for each matter, where others devote entire books, it is quite obvious that the author is not exhaustive in her approach. However, McLaughlin makes Christian apologetics approachable and personable, for both Christians and non-Christians, where others can sometimes come across as harsh or perhaps even arrogant. This and her personal background give her writing a value where ma ...more
Apr 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I was a little hesitant to read this book, mainly because I’d rather ignore these questions than confront them, and was afraid it may dispel some of the fundamental things I believe. But I highly recommend reading this, whether you are a Christian or not, to help answer some of the cultural and modern questions of today. I listened to this (free via Hoopla!) but am considering a hard copy to highlight, reference back to and loan out to friends.
Nathan Price
Jul 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Okay, I finally finished this and it's one of the best apologetics books I've read.

Beyond the fact that it's well-written, well-argued, and engaging, what I really liked about it was the general approach. Rather than attempting the horrendously complex task of proving the Christian worldview from the ground up (a strategy books like Mere Christianity opt for), the book tries to accomplish two goals:
1) Demonstrate that Christianity is worth taking seriously, i.e. show Christianity is intellectua
Lucy Paine
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I thought this was, at points, slightly defensive in tone, and found it frustrating how often McLaughlin pits Christianity against atheism, as if most non- Christians subscribe to that/ other belief systems are of less importance. I also thought she made a couple of generalisations and sometimes her points didn't seem to go anywhere. Nevertheless, there are some really compelling arguments here, a very clear picture of the person of Jesus throughout, and most of what she writes is well explained ...more
Jul 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever come across a passage in the Bible that left you scratching your head? Surely God couldn’t have meant that. Or maybe you have shared the gospel with a friend, and that person has asked you a question you couldn’t immediately answer.

Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion by Rebecca McLaughlin is designed to prepare us for situations like these. Using biblical texts, academic research, and personal stories, McLaughlin helps us examine our faith
Andy Huette
Jan 01, 2020 rated it liked it
In fairness to the author, I abandoned the book about 70% through, so it may have ended up a four star if I had finished. McLaughlin is a good writer, and this book serves as an updated apologetic for the faith that answers questions pertinent to 2020. The problem with popular level apologetics books, is that really tough questions often have really tough answers. And while quick chapters are truly helpful, they often left me wanting for more thorough answers. Not McLaughlin's fault, just the li ...more
Rebeca Salazar
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Truly a must read for social and cultural arguments to defend the Christian faith. McLaughlin lays down what the Bible says about women, diversity, science, morality, wars. I was overwhelmed at the amount of researches she offers and how all of them collide to show the beauty of the true Christian Faith.

However, I disagree with her conclusions on chapter 9 and I believe that's important to point out that Christians we're not defined by the sins they fight against more often. I may struggle with
Aria Maher
I have been meaning to read this for a while, and I actually got to read it for my apologetics class at Boyce! I think that this book is mainly written for non-Christians who are trying to understand Christianity and maybe see past some of the criticisms that have been leveled at it ("Isn't Christianity homophobic/racist/demeaning to women?" "Hasn't science disproven Christianity?" "How can God be good when there is evil in the world?" etc.). However, as a Christian myself, I found Rebecca McLau ...more
Sarah Hurst
May 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing

I read this book because, as an English graduate student, I was looking for a book that would help me better articulate my beliefs to my non-Christian classmates. While I found a lot of solid logical affirmations to my faith, I was surprised by how much the book also reminded me of the beauty of Jesus’s love for me. I thought I needed some solid apologetics to stand on, but what I really needed was to hear the gospel in a fresh way. I was moved to tears several times while reading.

Thank y
Wagner Floriani
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every chapter reflects a different conversation I’ve had in a coffee shop. This book is extremely timely, incredibly well written, and an accessible resource for complex issues. I’ll return to this book often.
Samuel Kassing
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was excellent. It's a collection of twelve well-crafted essays that speak to the pressing questions of secular people.

This would be a book that you could read with a friend who is skeptical of Christianity and their position would be taken seriously and yet the Christian position would be stated clearly and gently.
Dec 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
1/12/2020 Done.

1/02/2020 Unusually, I want to share my thoughts on this book PRIOR to reading it. I want to come back to my preconceived notions as a sort of personal experiment. Not being a Christian, just a former one, and current Atheist, I harbor immense anger and disappointment toward all religions. I suspect that I was given this book by a minister nephew to possibly address some of that anger. I'm not out to "find my faith," as I have none, and no desire to locate any. Well, not any conve
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was excellent, I really enjoyed all her pop culture references and meaty Scriptural evidence to back up her claims. It was well researched and well reasoned, and it took me a while to get through because there was so much to chew on. I didn't agree with her on everything, I didn't understand all of her conclusions, but I think that's the difference in her Protestant faith vs my Catholic faith.

2 things I think she missed the boat on:
- Being consistent with Saints and Church history. If
KinHo Chan
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thrive, faith
McLaughlin tackled some of the most difficult questions confronting Christianity with care and thoughtfulness. From morality and science to homophobia, exclusivity claims, and the problem of suffering, the author takes the challenges seriously and did her best to avoid setting up straw men. The analyses are based on clear explanation of scientific findings, careful use of logic, and deep personal convictions. One does not have to agree with all her positions to appreciate the ideas and the appro ...more
Rick Shafer
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book. Not a 'clobber' apologetics book and deals with contemporary and longstanding questions. I think it does a better job of poking holes in secular arguments than telling readers what to believe. I actually prefer this approach. The same sex chapter was personal, which made it more interesting and helpful. I thought the final two chapters stopped short of being really convincing. It's hard to deal with suffering and hell without delving deeply into systematic Theology -- s ...more
Lauren Fee
Sep 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read in my opinion. We have all encountered these hard questions against Christianity either personally in our own thoughts or in experiences and conversations with others. This book thoughtfully answers them. It will definitely be a book I go back and reference and am also grateful for her bibliography which provided other literary resources I hope to eventually read to further my knowledge and understanding of the subject matter at hand.
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Rebecca McLaughlin (PhD, Cambridge University) is the cofounder of Vocable Communications, a communications consulting and training firm. She is also a regular contributor to the Gospel Coalition and previously spent nine years working with top academics at the Veritas Forum, which hosts forums on college campuses with conversations that pursue answers to life's hardest questions. ...more

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14 likes · 1 comments
“If Jesus is the Bread of Life, loss of Jesus means starving. If Jesus is the Light of the World, loss of Jesus means darkness. If Jesus is the Good Shepherd, loss of Jesus means wandering alone and lost. If Jesus is the resurrection and the life, loss of Jesus is eternal death. And if Jesus is the Lamb of God, sacrificed for our sins, loss of Jesus means paying that price for ourselves.” 9 likes
“Suffering is not an embarrassment to the Christian faith. It is the thread with which Christ's name is stitched into our lives.” 2 likes
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