THE 3 QUESTIONS
And the Answers That Could Save Your Life
By Sean Forrest
Lulu Publishing, 2016
151 pages, $7.55 (Kindle)
To order: amazon.com
Critics and detractors throughout history have dismissed Christianity as unreasonable, nonrational and insupportable under strict logical argumentation. Speaker and musician Sean Forrest has written a clear, concise book that effectively refutes these claims.
In a question-and-answer format similar to philosophers and teachers from Socrates to Peter Kreeft, Forrest presents a solid argument defending the existence of God, the nature of God, the reliability of the Bible, and the veracity of the resurrection of Christ.
The three questions alluded to by the book’s title are: Does God exist? If God exists, who is he? and What is the meaning of life? If you or someone you know is truly curious and open to following an argument to its end, if for no other reason than to see why Christians believe what they believe, then this book is for you.
The style of the book is conversational, non-technical and entertaining.
For example, in the chapter on the first question (Does God exist?) Forrest and the fictional character Emma have this exchange:
Sean: Let’s set the record straight. The Church is not against science. The prestigious John Templeton Foundation honors achievements engaging the great questions of life and the universe. Have you ever heard of Michael Heller?
Sean: He was the winner of the Templeton Prize on March 12, 2008. He is a Polish cosmologist and professor of philosophy at the Pontifical Academy of Theology in Krakow, Poland.
Emma: Sounds like a smart guy.
Sean: Yes, he is. He is also a Catholic priest.
Sean: Have you ever heard of the Big Bang Theory?
Emma: Of course. It was discovered by Albert Einstein.
Sean: Sorry, Emma. Wrong.
Emma: No way! It was Albert Einstein.
Sean: Actually, it was discovered by Father Georges Lemaitre, who once said, “There is no conflict between religion and science.”
Forrest then goes on the tell Emma the story of how skeptical Einstein, after listening to Father Lemaitre expound the Big Bang Theory in January 1933, went away convinced, declaring: “This is the most beautiful and satisfactory explanation of creation to which I have ever listened.”
Forrest excels at distilling complex philosophical and theological arguments down to easily understood statements. He appeals to modern readers by peppering the book liberally with idiomatic expressions and everyday language — such as “freaking out,” and “I totally get what you’re saying.” It’s effective, but may end up being a problem once these phrases become dated.
The book is short and for that reason is not expensive, so I could see parish religious education departments, RCIA programs and youth ministries purchasing it in bulk to distribute to attendees. It would probably also sell well at an after-Mass book table, or make a great addition to the book shelf at your local adoration chapel. The best way to use it, though, would be in the context of a discussion similar to the fictional one in the book. Read it, learn the arguments and the reasoning, study the excellent resources suggested at the back of the book, and then pass it along to an open-minded friend, relative or co-worker. Make a coffee date to discuss it. This book is a great read for anyone interested in actively taking part in the New Evangelization.
Clare Walker writes from Westmont, Illinois.