Always Be Ready – Book Review.

Hugh Ross, what should I say about Dr Hugh Ross? I remember my first encounter with his works in 2010, when, as I recall, I was struggling with my own faith after meeting up with what seemed to be good objections against Biblical Christianity after debating several atheists online, emboldened by reading Lee Stroebel’s “A Case For a Creator” (A good beginner apologetics resource, but hardly adequate for equipping for robust debate). I remember wanting to seek out solid resources dealing with the best issues in contemporary science, and was not interested in any of the youth earth material which was available. I judged a book by its cover and picked up Hugh Ross’ “Why the Universe is the Way it is,” and “More Than A Theory,” both which had a picture of Hugh on the back cover looking like a stern mad scientist. I thought, “This is the guy who will handle these issues responsibly!” Although, I should never buy a book based on this criteria, it had paid off just this once, however, Hugh turned out to be anything but stern, or a mad scientist. As I have continued to learn about him, he is a fair, kind and loving individual who has a sincere desire to promote Biblical Christianity to the scientific community. Having taken many of the courses which are offered through his ministry, “Reasons to Believe” I have become acquainted with the ethos of his ministry, and his staff members. His recent book, “Always Be Ready” get more in depth into his personal growth as a Christian, beginning from his childhood struggles with (then unknown) Aspergers syndrome, which is a mild form of autism, all the way to his testimony and how he ventured into starting a science based apologetics ministry. Throughout this book he discusses the various events which led up to his conversion. Given the nature of his ministry, which discusses design arguments for the existence of God, it seems more than appropriate that his conversion process would foreshadow the nature of his ministry, as it was certainly a designed process as well. He recalls when he was given a Gideon Bible which collected dust for many years before opening it, but before he had examined many of the other truth claims which all seemed to come up somewhat short in some department, especially in their cosmology and understandings of origins, which one would expect if it were to be divine in origin it should get these bare minimums right. Eventually he opened his Bible to Genesis 1, which outlined the scientific method he had been so keenly interested in as a science enthusiast and student. This showed him that the one who authored the Bible may very well have been the author of the creation which he also studied.

This book carries on, not as a typical book on apologetics, but as a book co-authored by his wife, Kathy, documenting their successes and failures as a couple venturing out into the risky, not so lucrative, world of apologetics.

On may not agree fully with Hugh’s stance on concordism, that the record of nature and scripture agree and tension is only superficial, but what this book rightly underscores is the need to be equipped as apologists, ready to give an answer in all occasions.

This book is for those first venturing out into the world of apologetics, wondering what to expect. One can learn a great deal from what apologists like Hugh have gone through and how he used what some consider a weakness as his strength. Hugh could have used his weaknesses as an excuse to opt out of the life of writing and public speaking, but clearly chose to take the advise of his friends and family and to figure out ways to overcome the challenges his autism presented.

This book is also for the more seasoned apologist, the one who is perhaps feeling discouraged. Let’s face it, apologetics is a tough sport that can make one crusty and discouraged. One can often wonder why they bother trying to get through to all the militant atheists online, or in person. To what end are we enduring this? It seems no matter how much we educate ourselves, we will always be dismissed as lunatics with an intellectual gloss. Hugh and Kathy set out a case for why one should not get discouraged and the value of friends and family play in taking on the calling of an apologist. Hugh has come under fire, not only from atheists, but also from those in Christian circles for his views on Old Earth Creationism. He has been accused of either being a pseudo-scientist, or a pseudo-Christian, compromising to make both sides happy, but what Hugh has spent his life effectively arguing for is that the Bible is as much a product of the divine mind as is the creation we live in, and it is a Christian mandate to understand them both as an act of worship, and evangelism.

If you finished this review, you earned the promo code to buy this book at RTB’s webstore, http://www.shop.reasons.org – type “COLIN20” for a 20% discount.

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