Book Review: “Debating for God…” by Richard J. Cherok

If you live in the Southeastern United States and are a member of the Church of Christ, the main publishers you know are probably Apologetics Press and Focus Press. Both are fine organizations indeed. However, sometimes I wonder what are people in the Church of Christ reading west of Arkansas? In an effort to find out, I contacted Abilene Christian University/ACU Press and looked at their online catalog. They were kind enough to send me some of their publications to read and review. I urge all of my readers to check out their catalog, especially those of you interested in Christian education.

The first book I have read from them is entitled Debating for God; Alexander Campbell’s Challenge to Skepticism in Antebellum America. Written by Richard J. Cherok, this well crafted narrative is expertly written.  I really enjoyed this book and despite its sub 200 page count, this book challenged me in both its subject matter and the thoughts put forth.

When I think of Alexander Campbell, like many, I think of a man who railed against denominationalism and pleaded for a return to New Testament Christianity and unity. This book delves into another cause that Campbell championed. That cause was the fight against the skeptics of Christianity.  Campbell’s role as an apologist in the Antebellum period is very understated in history today.

This book reveals Campbell’s well perceived worries that Deism, was just as dangerous, although less logical, an opponent for Christians than atheism. Campbell, arguing against men who believed in God but not Christ, gave all Christians a blueprint of how to defend our faith. I would love to write about the details more but it is laid out expertly in the book.

The book gives us detail about not only Campbell and his writings and speeches, but also provides valuable information and detail about the skeptics that Campbell took on in his defense of Christianity.  Cherok’s work here not only shows his challenges against men such as Robert Owen and Kentucky Senator Humphrey Marshall, but if you read between the lines, Campbell is also challenging the theological beliefs of men such as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.  There is much to be learned from the details and skill of Campbell laid out in this book.

I recommend that all buy this book.  I personally intend to read this book again. Even if you are not a believer in Campbell’s teachings about New Testament Christianity, this book would serve as a powerful tool for any person who is looking for advise, encouragement, or motivation to begin defending the Christian faith. Buy this book.

Find this book at ACU Press here at this link.
Note that the book reviewed was a free copy provided by ACU Press.  No solicitation for a positive review was made in exchange for the copy received.
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~ by dvdbrumley on March 4, 2010.

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