[Review] The Problem of God

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I’ve spent the last couple weeks working my way through a new book from Mark Clark. The Problem of God: Answering a Skeptic’s Challenges to Christianity is Clark’s first book, but will certainly not be his only book. Well-written and engaging, it’s easy to hear his voice all through it.

Mark Clark is the Lead Pastor of Village Church, a multi-site church in British Columbia. An amazing story, Village Church is one of Canada’s largest and fastest growing churches. I first heard of Clark on the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast and have since listened in to a few weekend messages.

Listening to the interview of Clark I was very intrigued by the story of Village Church, planted in post-Christian British Columbia, and developing into one of Canada’s largest and fastest growing churches. I could quickly understand why from a listener viewpoint. Clark is a great story-teller and has an engaging personality. Nieuwhof mentioned that he sounds like actor Vince Vaughan (and he does!).

I love The Problem of God. In it Clark works his way through ten of the thorniest challenges faced by Christianity in 21st century post-Christian culture:

  • The Problem of Science
  • The Problem of God’s Existence
  • The Problem of the Bible
  • The Problem of the Christ Myth
  • The Problem of Evil and Suffering
  • The Problem of Hell
  • The Problem of Sex
  • The Problem of Hypocrisy
  • The Problem of Exclusivity
  • The Problem of Jesus

The book is based on a series of messages he’s given twice at Village Church, exploring the questions skeptics have. The skeptics stayed, because “they saw that it presents a rational and distinct view of origins, meaning, morality, and destiny beyond any other worldview, religious or secular, in the marketplace of ideas. That the Bible, Jesus and everything else that orbits around Christianity actually hold up under historical, scientific, philosophical, and even literary scrutiny.”

I really like The Problem of God for several reasons. First, as I read it, conversations I’ve had with friends over the years came to mind again and again. Like you, I’ve become friends with many people over the years who don’t believe what I believe. And the challenge has always been, not how to be a friend, but how to engage in a conversation that begins to wrestle with their divergent beliefs. I found solutions in chapter after chapter.

Second, like the apostle Paul in Acts 17-20, Clark understands that avoiding the issues is not the way to reach a skeptical culture. Instead, divergent beliefs must be addressed in an engaging dialogue. Once you’ve heard Clark speak you’ll hear his voice in his writing as he makes one compelling argument after another.

Finally, these ten chapters will equip you for your own conversations. If you’ve ever been stumped by the objections of a skeptic, The Problem of God will be well worth the investment of time.

The Problem of God ought to be required reading for 21st century Christ-followers. I highly recommend it!

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