Rice Broocks is cofounder of the Every Nation family of churches, which currently has churches and campus ministries in more than seventy nations. He is the author of several books including his newest release, MAN MYTH MESSIAH, as well as GOD’S NOT DEAD (the book that inspired the movies), THE PURPLE BOOK: Biblical Foundations for Building Strong Disciples, and EVERY NATION IN OUR GENERATION. Rice is also senior minister of Bethel World Outreach Church in Nashville, Tennessee, where he provides oversight for this multi-ethnic, multisite church, currently meeting in locations in Middle Tennessee, Texas, Arizona, and Ohio. Broocks holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Mississippi State University, a master’s degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi, as well as a doctorate in missiology from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Broocks lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with his wife, Jody, and their five children.
Brooks raises the question, one that he suggests is history’s greatest question. (cover, p. 1) He provides this question in the title to this book, “Man, Myth, Messiah.” Of course, he poses this question with the intent to answer it within the pages of the book. I imagine that there will be a difference of opinions about whether or not he provides sufficient evidence. As a believer it can be difficult to approach the topic nuetrally without some bias. He does make the point that Christianity is not just blind faith; he provides historical and archeological evidence that affirms what the Bible says about people, geographical locations, and of course, Jesus Christ. He even uses the testimony of liberal scholar Bart D. Ehrman. We do live in a great age, a time when technology (more information) and archaeological discoveries can help in the area of theology and religion. The unfortunate truth about our generation is that we will be held accountable for the plethora of available information.
We also live in a generation of skepticism and atheism. People seem to have more questions than they used to. And when people do not get answers they keep looking until someone can answer their questions, or until they are somewhat satisfied with what they have been told. Over the years many arguments have been developed to prove the existence of God, the incarnation, Christ’s resurrection, and miracles. I have heard the minimal facts argument used in a debate over Christ’s resurrection, but I have never read about it, till this book. After reading this book, I have not mastered the arguments, but I enjoyed learning about them. It will take time to fully understand some of these arguments. If that is your goal, you may want to read this book with a notebook and take plenty of notes. You can be assured that this book has been well researched, Brooks is well read, and he has provided a rather lengthy bibliography. He has also read several skeptics and unbelievers; this research was done in order for him to fully understand and answer all the arguments.
In this book Brooks set out to prove the reliability of the Gospels, the reality of the crucifixion, resurrection, incarnation, and miracles. Broocks did not write this book to promote his own scholarship, and you don’t have to be a scholar to read and understand it. In the last two chapters of the book Brooks emphasizes the importance of evangelism. As he does this, he makes the suggestion that apologetics and evangelism are inseparable. I agree. In his chapter, Defenders of the Faith, Brooks writes, two help you remember these vital ingredients to having an intentional evangelism process, here are two key words: great and salt. (P. 231-240) Brooks uses these two words and develops an acrostic for each. This acrostic is new to me, but I found them to be a great blessing and help (I intend to memorize them.).
- R-Reasons (to believe)
- S-Start a conversation
- A-Ask Questions
- T-Tell the story
If you read this book you will not become a scholar. But you will discover some excellent arguments and perhaps those arguments will increase you faith. Take the time to learn the arguments and concepts found within the book. The information will help you to become better prepared to share the Gospel and defend your faith. Evangelism has decreased, Christians and Churches have slacked off in this area. Since this is true, I am thrilled at Brooks insistence upon evangelism. If you are not a Christian, at least examine the book before you discredit the validity of Christianity, and the rationality of Christians.
I have received a free copy of this book from BookLook Blogger Review Program, for an honest review. I have given an honest review.