The Basics of Christian Belief
Bible, Theology, and Life’s Big Questions
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This reader-friendly yet robust introduction to the Christian faith explores the essentials of Christianity and the impact they have on life, worldview, and witness. Written in an accessible and engaging voice for college-age readers, the book connects the biblical plotline, the Apostles' Creed, the comparative distinctiveness of Christianity, and life's big questions. The author shows how the Christian metanarrative speaks to questions about purpose, worth, ethics, personhood, and more, and helps readers understand what it means to be a Christian in a post-Christian world.
Introduction: Why Worldview Matters
Part 1: The Plotline of Scripture
1. The Old Testament
2. The Life of Jesus
3. The New Testament Church
Part 2: The Apostles' Creed
4. God the Father
5. Jesus Christ
6. The Holy Spirit and the Church
Part 3: A Christian Point of View
7. The Distinctiveness of the Christian Faith
8. Christianity and Life's Big Questions
9. Challenges to the Christian System
10. Not Blind Faith
Appendix A: More about Paul's Theology
Appendix B: Hell
"It's hard to imagine a better primer for Christian belief than this one. Scripture, the Apostles' Creed, scientific discovery, life's puzzles, uncomfortable faith claims: Josh Strahan takes them all seriously in this wise and engaging book."
Joel B. Green, professor of New Testament interpretation, Fuller Theological Seminary
"In a single volume, Strahan provides a concise introduction to the overarching narrative of the Christian Scriptures, to the key tenets of Christian theology, and to the important questions that stem from a distinctive Christian worldview. He couples deep theological work with engaging writing to produce an accessible and important introductory text."
Heather Gorman, professor of New Testament, Johnson University
"Joshua Strahan is a great teacher, and The Basics of Christian Belief gives us an excellent and useful depiction of how a great teacher does his craft. This book provides substantive and thoughtful engagement with the narrative of Scripture, the Apostles' Creed, and the immense difference it all makes."
Lee C. Camp, author of Scandalous Witness: A Little Political Manifesto for Christians; host of Tokens Show
"Many of us who teach introductory religious courses have long sensed that a growing number of students do not know much about the Bible, and many more question its relevance or validity for life in our world today. In The Basics of Christian Belief, Josh Strahan addresses this situation by providing a concise overview of the biblical story coupled with a brief introduction to the core Christian beliefs derived from the early creeds. Having established a narrative, he then addresses many of the questions college students have concerning the Bible and the God Christians confess to believe in. Students will appreciate that he writes clearly, concisely, and with great humility. I highly recommend this book."
Rodney Ashlock, chair of the department of Bible, missions, and ministry, Abilene Christian University
"Relevant. Faithful. Informed. Conversation stirring. Too many books that introduce Christianity are tendentious or get lost in minutiae. While engaging Scripture, creed, and worldview challenges, Joshua Strahan compels the reader to attend to the questions that matter most."
Matthew W. Bates, author of Gospel Allegiance
"In the West, the ever-shifting sands of belief have revealed a gaping hole in the evangelical imagination--namely, an inability to move from what the Bible says to how we ought to live as people of faith. Some might call it an impoverished hermeneutic, but Joshua Strahan wouldn't use such esoteric terminology. Instead, he has written a book that people will actually read. In doing so, Strahan presents a case for why a Christian vision of the world remains compelling even in a cultural context filled with numerous other options. Whether you're a student, a member of the clergy, or a layperson interested in how to see the world Christianly, you are sure to find something life-giving in these pages. I highly recommend it."
Kutter Callaway, associate professor of theology and culture, co-director of Reel Spirituality, Fuller Theological Seminary
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