Friday, January 09, 2015

The first two non-scholar readers have just posted reviews of my new book, How Jesus Passes the Outsider Test: The Inside Story, and they are great!  (Especially the one just posted on Amazon.) 

 The shorter and somewhat more restrained but still very positive review was posted on a closed site, so I'll keep the reader anonymous:
"David's writing is very engaging, creative, and full of historical insight into the universality of the Christian worldview.   I find myself equipped with a new approach to engaging both atheists and people of other religions.  Very nicely done."
Now here's the review by Brad Cooper, a former pastor whom I had the chance to meet in Indiana a year and a half ago at a Subway in southern Michigan:  
"Even if you don't expect to agree with Dr. Marshall, it's hard for me to imagine how you could read Marshall's newest book and not enjoy it. Right from the first page of the Introduction (yes, the Introduction!), I found myself being carried along as if by an incoming hurricane, swept along by David's wit and mastery of metaphor. But unlike a hurricane, David did not leave behind a barren wasteland in his wake.  Instead, fresh insights from the history of religions sprung up page after page, and an original and cogent argument had grown tall and strong as a redwood when the winds finally died down.

"This book begins by noting one of the current fads in skeptical arguments: the Outsider Test for Faith (OTF), which has probably been most clearly and most stubbornly pushed by John Loftus.  Marshall examines Loftus' argument, turns it right side up and proceeds to show what a powerful argument it is for the truth of Christianity.

"This is a rare book. Few people have the broad range of knowledge and understanding that this book's argument requires-even fewer the skill to communicate it in a way that is both clear and enjoyable.  It encompasses such diverse topics as philosophical arguments, Biblical prophecy, the ancient religions that are the backbone of the world's great civilizations, and the history of Christian missions from the time of the apostles to the present day--all told in a way that makes you feel like your reading a fast-paced novel from among Amazon's bestsellers.

"At one point, I was thinking to myself: "I can't remember the last time I enjoyed reading a book this much." (And I read a lot.) Then I remembered that it was when I read Chesterton's Orthodoxy.  Quite honestly, I think this book even surpasses that for me. I very very rarely read a book more than once. I will be reading this one again soon."
Thanks so much!  Any comparison to Chesterton is a great honor: his writing has been an inspiration to me for many years.  And Brad also show talent with metaphors himself in that first paragraph: my Chinese colleague, a former college lecturer, was impressed by the quality of his writing, when I showed her the review. 
Even if Brad is just half right, you should read this book!  I do believe you will almost universally enjoy and benefit from it.  While I most recommend the print version (freshly printed books, not napalm, being the scent I favor in the morning), feel free to compromise with the Spirit of the Age just this once, and get the Kindle version, if you prefer. : - )

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