How can you use what God has taught you to communicate peace, love, joy, and the Gospel to the people around you? This book offers one fascinating suggestion: use the stories of the Bible. Author Mark Paustian vividly lays out ways any Christian can use the stories taught in Sunday School, stories even children can understand, to help and encourage those around you.
“Prepared to Answer” by Mark A. Paustian
Reviewed by Kent Reeder, 1/20/15
This book consists of 33 independent, devotional chapters and covers a wide variety of topics - from skepticism to child-rearing, from history to marriage and beyond. Each chapter is about 6-8 pages long and can be read in one sitting, promising the reader plenty to think about and an equal amount of encouraging truth. It’s written in an accessible, conversational style; anyone high school age or older should be able to enjoy it.
Author Mark Paustian, a Lutheran pastor and professor of communication, manages to weave Bible stories, real-life events, deep theology, and popular opinions into each chapter of this engaging book. As he does this, he not only holds up the wisdom of God as second-to-none but he also helps the reader see the wisdom of the world and our culture as the sham it can be. It is enlightening to watch this happen as you read and it makes the book rather hard to put down. The best part, though, is that all of this is done not simply to entertain the reader but rather to equip the reader to respond to (or "prepare them to answer") the difficult questions of life for themselves and for their loved ones.
There’s something gripping and full-of-life about the ways Paustian phrases things throughout this book, making it fun and rewarding to read. For example, in the chapter on tolerance, he writes “Once you wake up to the God who is infinitely more holy than you realize, you will realize he is infinitely more loving than you knew as well.” It’s a stunningly powerful way to talk about the God of law and love, and it’s just one example in a book full of equally well-crafted points.
If you’ve struggled to find the words you know God has for your life or the lives of those around you, this book is for you. If you’re looking for excellent, rewarding devotional reading that you’ll want to come back to again and again, this book is for you. If you have any questions about the book (before or after you read it) please don’t hesitate to contact someone at Illumine - we’d be glad to work through it with you.
This review was produced by Illumine Church, a non-profit organization which receives no financial benefit from it’s sale. Illumine Book Reviews are designed to highlight and discuss literature of all kinds in order to educate and serve.