Book review: Questioning Your Way to Faith
by Peter Kazmaier
Al, a nerdy chemist, and Floyd, an atheist jock, share a friendly and respectful conversation about God as they enjoy the wilderness together. Along the way, they discuss moral purpose, evolution (Al is a proponent of intelligent design), the problem of evil, neurochemistry, and causality. The discussion of Kalam’s Argument, which posits that a infinite regression of causes cannot satisfactorily explain today’s existence, is presented with clarity—that’s perhaps the best part of the book for me. You may have to be another nerd to understand the math for that discussion, simple as it is, but don’t worry: this is the only place in the book where you’ll find mathematical symbols. The truth is—and this is the real value of Peter’s book, and the reason I recommend it—Kazmaier has a way of explaining things in simple, comparative terms so that they sink in.
The title of the book invokes the question of whether or not “questioning faith” is an oxymoron. Al, the nerdy chemist, insists that he came by faith through questioning, and Floyd insists that faith is a blind (and rather inexcusable) state of refusing to question.
A group of us are discussing this book in an apologetics forum, but the truth is, I’m not sure I classify the book as apologetic, simply because of its too-friendly tone. Kazmaier seems more focused on defending the reasonableness of theism than proving the existence of a particular God. His goal seems to be to help atheists agreeably disagree with theists. That may simply be Kazmaier’s nonaggressive style rising to the surface, but it seems appropriate to me. This book does what is possible, presenting the logic for believing in a creator of sorts, and then in the final pages bringing up personal experience to seal the deal. It is Al’s “concrete experiences with the Lord Jesus Christ” that convince him that Christianity is the proper choice among theistic options.
Fun book, all the way through. But do I actually agree with all of Al’s arguments, or all of Floyd’s? Of course not. Religion has a slippery way of evading conclusions … thank God.