(Book Review) The Story of Reality


Reviewed by: Madeline Fox, Professional Writing Major at Taylor University

Church: Christian Community Church, Columbus, OH 43235


Introduction

Title: The Story of Reality

Author: Gregory Koukl

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Publication Date: January 2017

Format: Print book

Length: 198 pages

OVERVIEW

The Christian story, like any other good story, has five stages: beginning, rising action, climax, conflict resolution, and ending. Gregory Koukl echoes this progression with one word to represent each stage: God, Man, Jesus, Cross, and Resurrection.

In the first phase, God created the heavens and the earth. God is shown to be all powerful but all loving as well. Koukl explains why reality reflects the need for a Creator and demonstrates why God must be triune. However, he acknowledges that there is evil in the world that should not exist with an all powerful, all loving God in control.

In the second phase, we learn why evil exists. It is the fault of man. Koukl proves that a fully good and fully powerful God can allow evil if it either prevents a greater evil or causes a greater good. In the case of man, God gave humans the ability to sin so that we might also choose to love. God created Man so that he could be in relationship with him, which is a great good, but man chose to sin instead.

To remedy this, God sent his son to Earth. A fully good God could not pardon man’s sin without also allowing evil, so God’s wrath was set against mankind. Man’s punishment for his sin was death, so someone had to die. But instead of allowing man to pay for his own sin, God sent Jesus into the world to pay his punishment.

That is why Jesus died on the cross. Koukl presents evidence for why Jesus died and rose again through the process of elimination, echoing Sherlock Holmes’ idea that “once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

In the fifth phase, then, we see the story come to a close with the resurrection of Christ. Through Christ, Man has the ability to escape God’s wrath, but only if he accepts Christ’s payment. If man chooses to try and save himself instead, he will be overwhelmed by the weight of his sins and fall out of relationship with God forever.

Koukl presents this story clearly with personal stories, logical arguments, and a bit of humor that anyone could understand.

 

ASSESSMENT

Rating (1 to 5)

5 stars

Suggested Audience

Any Christian could find value in reading this book. New Christians will better understand the Christian story as a whole, and older Christians will feel refreshed by the logical explanation of the basics of their faith. However, because the book treats the Christian worldview as reality rather than a belief set, nonbelievers may feel defensive in regards to its claims.

Christian Impact

This book carefully explains the fundamentals of the Christian faith. It supports the Christian faith in a renewing way, offering scientific and philosophical evidence for the events in Genesis and the Gospels.

I found myself wishing the book was longer!

 


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About ECLA Web Team

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals. This account is managed by the ECLA Web Team.

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