Introduction Introduces Mark's story, the story of the church, and frames the questions answered in the book. PART 1 - Evidential Challenges Chapter 1: The Challenge of Faith vs. Reason Proposes that everyone has a faith position, that the dichotomy between faith and reason is a myth, and that the best worldviews need to be coherent and viable from a historical, philosophical, and scientific standpoint. (Includes a lot of engagement in recent scholarship and atheism.) Chapter 2: The Challenge of God's Existence Explores evidence for God's existence taken from three major areas. These include moral law, origins of the universe, and the teleological argument. (Includes a lot of engagement in philosophy, physics, and cosmology.) Chapter 3: The Challenge of the Bible Gives a defense of the legitimacy of the Bible, from a historical, archeological, and literary standpoint. Chapter 4: The Challenge of the Christ Myth This chapter answers the challenge of Jesus's existence, deconstructs the Christ Myth, and argues for the legitimacy of the historical Jesus and his resurrection. What makes this chapter stand out is that it directly challenges the Christ Myth, interacting directly with those who have popularized this theory. This chapter will establish that the parallels are imagined and that Jesus is unique in history. This chapter offers a unique and liberating answer for Christians who encounter this popular challenge. PART 2 - Moralistic Challenges Chapter 5: The Challenge of Evil and Suffering Explores the philosophical reasons behind the reality of evil and suffering in the world and attempts to reconcile the reality of evil and suffering with God's existence. (Philosophical and practical.) Chapter 6: The Challenge of Hell Argues for the legitimacy of the doctrine of hell. This chapter engages some of the more popular discussions on hell, including universalism. It also offers a biblical presentation of the doctrine of hell based on Scripture and the logic of justice. Chapter 7: The Challenge of Sex This chapter addresses the popular rejection of Christianity based on a modern cultural construct of sexual ethics, which asks if God is anti-sex. The chapter explores the biblical presentation of sex as a pleasure-filled, God-glorifying reality, and it challenges both the worship of sex and the suppression of it. (This chapter is one of the unique aspects of this book and will likely get people talking. The author calls for sex to play a central role in the lives of married people and discusses topics such as pornography, frequency, and orgasms. The content draws on scholarship, modern examples, and years of pastoral counseling and preaching on the topic.) Chapter 8: The Challenge of Christian Hypocrisy Explores accusations that Christianity is "poison" (Hitchens), judgmental, and exclusive and therefore should be dismissed. This chapter explores some of the classic justifications for rejecting Christianity (witch-burning, war) and shows them to be both exaggerated and antithetical to the spirit of Christianity. Chapter 9: The Challenge of Exclusivity This chapter looks closely at the challenge of Christianity on the basis that it excludes other worldviews and religions, finding that such exclusion is logical and right. It is a winsome and funny chapter that explores the irony of the modern worldview, which wants to include everyone and say everyone is right! Chapter 10: The Challenge of Jesus Explores the person and work of Jesus as a final chapter, which forces readers into the crisis of believing Jesus was who he said he was---or choosing to reject him. If he wasn't who the prophets---and Jesus himself---said he was, then Christianity shouldn't be believed. But if he did fulfill the prophecies and perform the miracles that are attributed to him, not to mention dying and rising again, then the reader should trust in Christ.
Mark Clark is the founding pastor of Village Church in Vancouver, Canada. Starting in 2010 out of a school gym, it is now one of the fastest growing multi-site churches in North America. Mark combines frank and challenging biblical preaching with real-world applications and apologetics to speak to Christians and skeptics, confronting questions, doubts, and assumptions about Christianity. His sermons have millions of downloads per year from over 120 different countries.
Like my friend Mark Clark, I was raised in an atheist household.
When I was eighteen years old, I actually talked one of my friends
out of being a Christian! I will never forget that conversation
because I realized that the reason he could be talked out of his
faith so easily was because it had no solid foundation. That's why
I am praying that Mark's new book will be read by millions. Mark is
one of the next generation's best communicators. This book is just
like Mark---honest, inspirational, and encouraging. Read it and
pass it on! * Ray Johnston, Senior Pastor, Bayside Church; author
of The Hope Quotient, This Changes Everything, and Jesus Called-He
Wants His Church Back *
I'm a big fan of Mark Clark. His new book, The Problem of God, is important. I love books that will bless and deepen seasoned saints and also speak provocatively to seekers and skeptics. Every emerging generation needs fresh voices to help illuminate our path with Jesus; I believe Mark Clark is one of those voices. * Daniel Fusco, Lead Pastor, Crossroads Community Church; author of Upward, Inward, Outward and Honestly *
If you ever wished there was an apologetics book that was academically sound, logically compelling, and actually fun to read, your wait is over. Mark Clark brings his own engaging, fun, and refreshing voice to some of the key objections to the Christian faith. He does the almost impossible task of making a usually dry subject not only easy to understand but enjoyable and compelling, without losing any academic integrity. This book is a must-read for Christians and skeptics alike. * Carey Nieuwhof, Author and Founding Pastor, Connexus Church *
I'm so grateful for Mark Clark and his ministry! In The Problem of God, Mark has created a very practical and personal resource. It provides an accessible paradigm for understanding and answering common objections to God, Scripture, and the historical person of Jesus without needing to be a philosopher, language expert, or historian. This book will equip followers of Jesus to have informed conversations with their friends and neighbors and deepen our own conviction that Jesus is Lord. * Bruxy Cavey, Pastor at The Meeting House; author of (Re)Union: The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints, and Sinners *