Review: Life’s Toughest Questions (from Lifeway’s Platform Series)

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Erwin McManus is easily one of the most engaging speakers today.  Whether you catch him at Mosaic or at a conference…you’ll find yourself leaning forward in your seat, straining to catch every line, desperately trying to remember the phrase while you frantically try to write it down.

At least for me.  I love listening to him and have found myself challenged many times by his radical, barbarian-way, style of communicating.  And if you’ve found him engaging, you’re going to love Life’s Toughest Questions from Lifeway’s Platform Series.

A 6 session, DVD-driven study, Life’s Toughest Questions leverages the provocative teaching style of a great communicator.  Pulling no punches, McManus does what can only be done by someone who leads a congregation like Mosaic (now 7 locations in Southern California), designed to reach a broken and fragmented humanity, helping it become a work of beauty under the artful hands of God.

The six topics covered in Life’s Toughest Questions are:

  • Does God Care?
  • Is There a Hell?
  • What About Sex?
  • Is Jesus the Only Way?
  • Is Faith Nonsense?
  • Is God in Your Future?

Each session is anchored by an 18 to 25 minute DVD segment (the average viewing time is about 20 minutes) featuring a portion of a weekend message.  Although I’m generally an advocate of shorter video segments, I found myself completely engaged in even the longest segment.

A study guide accompanies the DVD Leader Kit and is required to lead the session.  It’s important to note that while this is a “show-up” study, not a homework or preparation driven study, it will probably be helpful for each participant (or at least most participants) to have a study guide ($7.95 from Lifeway) in front of them during the session.

Each session has plenty of material and the included questions are written to facilitate a very engaging discussion.  Although fairly self-explanatory, one drawback is the absence of a Leader’s Guide.  It may be important for less experienced leaders to have access to some in-house coaching that can help with session preparation.

If you’re looking for a resource that will provide an engaging and challenging experience for your groups, you can’t go wrong with Life’s Toughest Questions.  This one will definitely be on my recommended list.

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  1. Phil on March 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Just one question. Is the DVD multi-regional or only region 1? Would love to use this in my church in the UK – Life’s toughest questions was the first Podcast series I heard from Mosaic – but it’s no good if it won’t play over here.

  2. Anonymous on March 2, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Great question Phil! And thanks for joining the conversation from the UK! Here’s what I found out from LIfeway:

    “Yes, they are “region 0″. However – the video format is NTSC, so PAL users may have trouble playing them in their DVD players.”

    Several other people here, who would know, referred to them as “universal.”

    Hope that helps! And again…thanks very much for being part of what we’re doing here.


  3. Phil on March 3, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Thanks Mark – I’ll have a pop at getting a copy sent here and try it out.