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BEYOND OPINION HB Hardcover – 1 Jan 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: THOMAS NELSON (1 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849919681
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849919688
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.8 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,818,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Ravi Zacharias is president of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. Born in India and Cambridge educated, he has lectured in several of the world's most prominent universities, as well as in more than fifty countries. He is author of several books, including Can Man Live Without God, Cries of the Heart and Deliver Us From Evil. He and his wife, Margie, are the parents of three children. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Mr JER Howell on 23 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
an exceptional book, clear, logical and challenging ..among my top ten ..
not an easy read have to follow the thinking closely ..but very rewarding ..
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By William on 25 Jun. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a must read by an excellent wri.ter, Ravi Zacharias and his team have done an excellent job
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 144 reviews
55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
Good guide to modern apologetics 1 Jan. 2008
By Jordan M. Poss - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Beyond Opinion is a good collection of essays united under the broad theme of Christian apologetics, with introductory remarks and a conclusion by Ravi Zacharias that lay out the specific goals and themes of the book--to show the need for apologetics and outline the different kinds one may encounter in our postmodern world.

The individual chapters showcase the expertise and first-hand knowledge of a number of respected authors and apologists, with stand-out sections by Alister McGrath, Joe Boot, John Lennox, and Zacharias himself. Among the topics covered are Islam, atheism (specifically, the virulent strain exemplified by Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins), eastern religions, science, suffering, persecution, and psychology.

The book's weaknesses are few, but obvious given the limitations of space and the breadth of the subject. Some of the material is not treated deeply enough and, in a handful of places, the essays seemed unfocused or rushed. The biggest flaw is nothing peculiar to this book, though--as with any collection of essays, some are just not as good as the others.

That said, whatever problems the book has are easily outweighed by the wealth of information and thought packed into a little over 300 pages. Beyond Opinion is an ideal introduction to apologetics for anyone interested in the defense of the faith.

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Good Questions. Good Answers. Genuine Issues. 17 Jan. 2008
By Daniel L. Marler - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Beyond Opinion is filled with lots of good, helpful, interesting information, if you are interested in the field of apologetics--and I am. But, I appreciated this book because it does not simply address the same topics that we encounter in all the other books on apologetics. Its fresh approach addresses issues like "Challenges from Youth" and "Challenges from Eastern Religions" and "Conversational Apologetics" and "The Trinity as a Paradigm for Spiritual Transformation" in useful and insightful ways.

Also, the various authors write with an awareness of the fact that although answering questions at an intellectual level is part of the task of apologetics, also, living as an authentic follower of Christ is a key part of the task for one who would be a defender of the faith. Ravi Zacharias addresses that matter in the introduction of the book, writing, "The ultimate calling upon the follower of Christ is to live a life reflecting who he is . . ." Joe Boot reflects that awareness, as well, writing, "few things are more obvious to those engaged in sharing and defending the faith than that the messenger and the method are as important as the message." This important awareness--that living a genuine life of faith is critical to the apologetic task--seems to come through in the writings of all the authors of the book.

The following chapters were particularly helpful . . .

"Challenges From Islam" by Sam Soloman. What Soloman writes about the Doctrine of Takkiya is quite interesting.

"Broader Cultural and Philosophical Challenges" by Joe Boot. Boot writes, "Our priority in apologetics is not to make the nonbeliever listen to us, but to help the person be ready to listen to God and be taught by him." That's a terrific thought.

"The Trinity As A Paradigm For Spiritual Transformation" by L.T. Jeyachandran.

"Book Reviews That Really Excite People" by Dan Marler.

Oh wait, that that last chapter doesn't exist. But what a thrill, if it did, huh?

A book worth reading.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Excellent broad overview 4 April 2008
By Miz Brody - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
All the essays are quite good but Stuart McAllister's "The Role of Doubt and Persecution in Spiritual Transformation" is alone worth the price of the book.

Overall, the book presents many unique styles for "doing" apologetics, a vast and complicated Christian discipline. Ravi Zacharias, the "godfather" of 21st century apologetics, is the driving force behind the compilation of these essays and the glue holding a rapidly-expanding international movement together. He is quite a deep thinker, as are the rest who have contributed to this book.

Shockingly revealing, too, is the essay by Jeyachandran, "Challenges From Islam."

Some greats minds have written some outstanding essays here. All these essays give the lie to the notion that Christians don't think and that their faith is somehow blind, a false notion being promulgated by vitriolic atheists like Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, Hitchens et al and swallowed whole by a large number of English-speaking readers. This book is well worth any thinker's time and money.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Reaching head and heart 24 Sept. 2008
By Bill Muehlenberg - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a collection of essays by members of the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries team. Except for two Oxford Professors - Alister McGrath and John Lennox - all the other authors are part of RZIM, working fulltime in various places around the globe.

In the fourteen essays contained here the authors seek to connect Christian apologetics with Christian living. Subtitled "Living the Faith We Defend", the heart of this book is to show that good apologetics is not just providing the right answers, but is about living a life that reflects the one we seek to defend.

The authors remind us that we are called to defend the faith, by meeting intellectual and worldview challenges. But we are also to be a living example of the faith, and show the reality of a Christ-transformed life. Providing honest answers to honest questions is obviously what apologetics is all about. But as Zacharias reminds us, "the role of the apologists is to win the person, not just the argument".

The various essays featured here cover many important areas. Some of the major topics covered include postmodernism, atheism, Islam, eastern religions, challenges from youth, challenges from science, the problem of evil and suffering, cross-cultural challenges, and the place of doubt.

One of the chapters by Zacharias, on the church's role in apologetics and the development of the mind, is alone worth the price of the book. The task of getting the church of Jesus Christ to actually use its mind for the glory of God is a most pressing need. Indeed, the title of Zacharias's radio show, "Let My People Think" has to be one of the great challenges facing believers today.

He begins the chapter by reminding us of the need to lead well-rounded apologetic lives: "I have little doubt that the single greatest obstacle to the impact of the gospel has not been its inability to provide answers, but the failure on our part to live it out."

He mentions a Hindu friend he had known long ago and his objections to the gospel. He felt Christian conversion was just a move to moral reform, without any supernatural element to it. He asked a question which really troubled Zacharias: "If this conversion is truly supernatural, why is it no more evident in the lives of so many Christians?"

Zacharias says Christians must first be willing to grapple with the difficult questions of the sceptics, and work through them ourselves. Then we must internalise the answers and live out these answers before a hurting and hungry world.

But we must not ignore or downplay the many honest questions which sceptics have. It is vital that we interact with them. "There is an exponential growth of knowledge in our time," says Zacharias, "and it is part of our Christian calling to work hard at understanding as much as we can the themes that must be addressed."

Yet this is rarely happening in the church today. Zacharias takes a dim view of the Christian mind. Walk into any Christian bookstore and the great majority of titles are simply fluff and froth, lacking in any theological or intellectual substance.

And in an age of intellectual mushiness, and a war on truth, Christians more than ever need to stand up for Christianity's absolute truth claims. Says Zacharias, "The first and foremost task of the apologist, then, is to stand for truth and to clarify the claims of the gospel."

Other chapters can be mentioned. L.T. Jeyachandran's article on Hinduism, Buddhism and the New Age Movement is a helpful and concise introduction to the Eastern worldview. Danielle DuRant's piece on idolatry and self-deception provides helpful insights and observations.

Taken together, the different parts of this book make for a powerful whole. They deal with intellectual and ideological issues, but also cover them from a personal and practical point of view. This is the way apologetics should be done: reaching both the head and the heart. This book is a most welcome addition to the apologist's library, and deserves a wide reading.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Excellent and insightful selection of topics 1 Mar. 2008
By Deborah Browne - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Those familiar with the writings of Ravi Zacharias will not be disappointed in this book, which contains insights from a number of authors, each addressing a specific area of concern to the Christian apologist in today's world. One chapter I found especially helpful, written by a Muslim convert to Christ, describes some of the teachings and debate tactics used by Muslims to make their faith seem compatible with Christianity. Some Christian leaders are making concessions to Islam on the basis of such misinformation. We must learn to share both the love and the doctrinal truth taught and exemplified by the real, historical Jesus if we are to be true disciples and good ambassadors of Christ.
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