Sam Storms has a name that is an oxymoron if there ever was one. His writing is anything but stormy. He writes more like the “calm” before the storm. This is exaclty how he handles difficult questions: calmly, rationally, theologically, and biblically. There’s hardly anyone who will agree wholeheartedly with his answers to the 25 questions raised in this book, but irregardless you will benefit from his skill as an exegete, practical wisdom, pastoral encouragement, theological acumen, and passion for God’s glory exhibited throughout the book. In each chapter he gives ample biblical, theological, and practical support for his answer to each question. He also provides a list of 2-5 recommended resources on each topic at the end of each chapter for those who want to study the topic in greater detail.
The book isn’t divided systematically or topically. Almost all the questions stand alone. If I were to organize the book I would organize the book in the following manner:
(1) Theological Questions – (a) Is the Bible Inerrant?; (b) What is Open Theism? (c) Does God Ever Change His MInd? (d) Could Jesus Have Sinned? (e) Does the Bible Teach the Doctrine of Original Sin? (f) What can We Know about Angles? (g) What Can We Know about Satan? (h) What Can We KNow about Demons?
(2) Exegetical Questions – (a) What Did Jesus Mean When He Said, “Judge Not, that You Be Not Judged?” (b) What is the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? (c) Does Hebrews Teach that Christians Can Apostasize? (d) What was Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh?
(3) Practical/Pastoral Questions – (a) Are Those Who Die in Infancy Saved? (b) Will People Be Condemned for Not Believing in Jesus though They’ve Never Heard His Name? (c) Can a Christian Be Demonized? (d) Can Christians Lose Their Salvation? (e) Will There Be Sex in Heaven? (f) What Is Baptism in the Spirit, and When Does It Happen? (g) Should All Christians Speak in Tongues? (h) Is There Healing in the Atonement? (i) Why doesn’t God Always Heal the Sick? (j) What is Legalism? (k) Are Christians Obligated to Tithe? (l) Does Satan Assign Demons to Specific Geopolitical Regions? Are There Territorial Spirits?
Sam Storms has done a wonderful job of tackling each of these questions. I highly recommend this book as a resource that all Christians can use for life. My hope is that this is just the first of a series of more question and answer books to come. As a pastor-theologian Storms is more than qualified to tackle the most difficult of questions in truth, with love, gentleness, and respect.
*I was provided with a copy of this book for review by the publisher and was not required to write a postive review.
I am the Lead Pastor of Valley Baptist Church (Bay Area), born and raised in Huntington Beach, Ca., and currently living in Novato, California. I am married to my best friend of 29 years - Dana - and have five adult children; and seven grand children. I have been a Teaching Pastor for over thirty years. I was privileged to study at Multnomah University (B.S. - 1988); Talbot School of Theology (M.Div. - 1991); Westminster Theological Seminary & Northwest Graduate School (D. Min. - 2003). I founded Vertical Living Ministries in 2008 with the goal of encouraging Christian Disciples and Leaders to be more intentionally Christ-Centered in how they live by bringing glory to God in nine key areas of life: (1) Intimacy with God, (2) marriage, (3) family, (4) friendship, (5) vocationally/ministry , (6) emotional and physical health, (7) stewardship of resources, (8) discipleship, and (9) mentoring.
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