(F) Ages 15-18, Book Reviews, Christian, Discussion Starters, Nonfiction, Raising Readers, Teen/Adult
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*Confronting Christianity by Rebecca McLaughlin

Rebecca McLaughlin confronts some of the hardest questions faced by Christians today with thoughtful, engaging responses rooted in Scripture.

*Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion by Rebecca McLaughlin. Crossway, 2019, 240 pages.

Reading Level: Teen, ages 15-18

Recommended for: ages 18-up

So you are a Christian? Chances are, you’ve encountered someone who believes we are better off without religion. And what about diversity? Doesn’t Christianity crush diversity?

Chapter by chapter, Christian thinker Rebecca McLaughlin interacts with twelve of the hardest questions facing Christians today. Using history, literature, modern events, and most of all, going back to the Bible, McLaughlin shows how Christians have interacted with these questions over the centuries. She provides a thoughtful, loving, and most of all biblical framework in how readers should respond today.

Each chapter begins with an example or illustration. McLaughlin then lays out how she will respond to the chapter’s question. While academically precise, her tone does not detract from the book’s readability. In addition, her wealth of research and cultural references lend credibility to both the questions and her answers.

Throughout the book, McLaughlin assumes her readers will be familiar with contemporary culture. Her chapter answering the question, “Doesn’t Christianity denigrate women?” uses for illustration a surprising plot twist in Harry Potter. (Which completely surprised this reader yet was very effective in driving home her point.)

McLaughlin doesn’t shy away from hard topics. Early in the narrative, she hints at struggling with same-sex attraction. In her chapter, “Isn’t Christianity homophobic?” she shares her own experiences as a Christian women who struggles with same-sex longings.

McLaughlin frankly discusses issues ranging from rape to homosexuality, genocide to abortion. Mature teenagers who are already encountering these issues will benefit from this discussion. However it might prove too much for a younger reader, and parental discretion is advised.

Throughout the book McLaughlin engages respectfully with liberal arguments. Her tone and style will especially appeal to thoughtful and academically inclined readers. Extensive footnotes in each chapter encourage readers to dig deeper, both into other sources, and into the Bible.

For a graduating Christian senior, a Christian parent, or even an unbeliever curious to learn more, Confronting Christianity is an excellent resource. (Dare we say required reading?)

Note: This reviewer received an advance reader copy of the book in exchange for a fair review. 

Overall rating: 5 (out of 5)

  • Worldview/moral value: 5
  • Artistic/literary value: 5

For another excellent Christian resource see Janie’s recent review of *Transformed by Truth by Katherine Forster.

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