Bill Kynes, Sr. Pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church near Washington, D.C. and co-laborer on the EFCA Spiritual Heritage Committee, has turned an excellent sermon series into an equally outstanding book: 7 Pressing Questions: Addressing Critical Challenges to the Christian Faith.
Here are the seven questions asked and answered:
- Is Belief In God Rational?
- Who Was Jesus and How Can We Know?
- Is Jesus the Only Way?
- Why Should We Believe the Bible?
- Why Would a Good God Allow So Much Suffering?
- How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell?
- Isn’t the Church Just Full of Hypocrites?
I had the honor and privilege of writing the Foreword.
In the Evangelical church today, we face a similar challenge noted by Jude. Although he was eager to speak of the glorious truths of what we share in our salvation, he was compelled to write to his fellow Christians about the necessity of contending for the faith once for all entrusted to the saints (Jude 3). We, too, are compelled to contend for that same faith. But in order to do that, we first need to know that faith.
There are two aspects to this exhortation as related to the faith. One centers on the instruction of the body of truth, the faith, that is taught to God’s people in the Scriptures. Often this is done in the form of instructional classes and then reinforced through preaching, Christian education and small group Bible studies. The second aspect addresses the articulation of that faith in a present-day context. This is where we contend or give a defense of the faith (cf. 1 Pet. 3:15 where the original word for “defense” is apologia, where we get our word apologetic) in the context where it is being questioned, undermined, or denied. In order to do this we need to be aware of the present-day questions being asked so that we can give a defense grounded in the faith once for all given by God. It is both biblical and contextual. Furthermore, it is also experiential. This faith once for all entrusted has been received in the present time in a person’s life and creates hope. It is from this personal, hope-filled posture that this faith is defended and for which it is contended.
Questions are common in both of these aspects of the faith: in the building up of Christians (consider many of the standard catechisms that follow a question and answer format) and in contending for the faith among non-Christians. This requires understanding the biblical truth and listening sensitively to the contemporary voices so that one can discerningly determine the questions being asked. And then in providing biblical responses to these questions, believers are built up and equipped to contend for the faith among unbelievers. This book masterfully does both through asking and answering Seven Pressing Questions.
Bill Kynes has faithfully served in the same local church context for 30 years. He has been an ardent student of the Scriptures and an astute discerner of culture. In this work he combines the best of both, and he does so in the context of questions. Kynes is committed to this faith, the gospel of Jesus Christ, as a body of truth and personally having experienced the life-transforming reality of this faith. Additionally, he seeks to see it embraced and lived out in the lives of the people of God in the context of the local church. He is a faithful, humble and dependent undershepherd under the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ. I know few more capable of Kynes to address these Questions. I have learned much from this dear brother, so with this goal in mind I invite you to learn with me. I heartily commend this work to you!
I would encourage you to use this book in a small group format. It would make an excellent seven-week series and each chapter includes questions of application/discussion. The book can be ordered here.