What is life all about? Why are we here, and do we matter? How should we live? Such questions are all around us, asked by people of all ages and backgrounds. Obviously, they provide an ideal starting point for evangelism, but most of us are not equipped to help either seekers or skeptics.
Ravi Zacharias Ministries International has put together a compelling DVD series to address the questions of seekers and to equip those Christians reaching out to them.
Burning Questions…Exploring Where the Evidence Leads takes a rational look at some of the deepest and most important questions facing mankind:
- Is there a God?
- God and Science
- The Problem of Evil
- Which Religion is True?
- Can We Trust the Bible?
- Who Was Jesus?
The answers have profound implications and deal with questions of meaning, purpose, hope, and daily life. However, these important questions are often not discussed clearly or respectfully; usually noisy rhetoric is employed by all parties. In contrast, Dr. Andy Bannister has tried to set up a courteous discussion by interviewing expert representatives of many beliefs, including atheism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and more. In Burning Questions, he gives them space to present their points of view, engaging honestly with their ideas by presenting related ideas from different interviewees together.
Beginning with the biggest question of all, “Is there a God?” Burning Questions addresses both intellectual and emotional concerns from many points of view. The different experts are given the space to define their beliefs and to answer questions about them, and all these different interviews are woven together into a careful narrative. Each section is briefly introduced and summed up by Andy who also conducts the interviews. Andy does an excellent job of treating all his interviewees respectfully. He listens carefully to what they say and, though he is clearly confident in what he himself believes, he takes their points of view seriously.
Thus these DVDs address the six Burning Questions in a broad manner, giving a voice to many different beliefs while at the same time heading steadily toward the inescapable conclusion that Jesus is the answer.
I learned a lot from these DVDs about how people of different beliefs approach the big questions in life. I also ‘met’ some wonderful Christians. Dr. Anna Robbins of Nova Scotia expressed her Christian faith so simply yet with such wisdom. Dr. Ard Louis of Oxford passionately promoted the idea that science is not all there is and cannot answer the really important questions. Furthermore, I have developed new compassion for atheists like Dr. Peter Atkins of Oxford although, as a scientist, I am incredulous that he actually believes that what he says is based on rational thought. (I will discuss this in more detail when I review God’s Undertaker by Lennox.)
The accompanying study guide, available free from the Burning Questions website, can help shape a discussion and contains some excellent book and video recommendations for each of the six questions. I was pleased to find a few science titles I had never heard of.
In our home we are in the process of using Burning Questions as a component of grade 12 Bible and Apologetics course. Miss 17 has watched the DVDs with me and has made many insightful comments and objections. She is a logical thinker, an expert in ferreting out fallacies, and it was good for her to see this intelligent and reasoned approach to different religions and to Explore Where the Evidence Leads. The study guide will be helpful for seekers but I have not yet determined how we will adapt it to our homeschool. With or without the study guide, Burning Questions is a wonderful addition to our high school Bible course and will help prepare Miss 17 to stand firm and even be a light in the world of a secular university.
Quality cinematography, fascinating locations (including C.S. Lewis’s home), passionate expert interviewees, and Andy’s skillful summaries combine with the six questions to make this a valuable tool for anyone involved in the search for truth. Although Burning Questions should, hopefully, appeal to seekers themselves, it will be especially helpful to those Christians who are interacting with seekers, skeptics, and doubters of all backgrounds. They will be able to use it to gain an understanding of different opinions and to watch skilled and compassionate people engage these opinions and point to the Truth. This video series could also be shown directly to anyone interested these issues, no matter what they currently believe, and the study guide would be a helpful discussion resource.
To see trailers for each of the episodes, to purchase the DVDs, or to download the free study guide, please visit the Burning Questions website.
Note: The discussion of science assumes that theistic evolution and Big Bang theory, both of which are problematic for both scientific and theological reasons, represent the Christian point of view.
This post is linked to Trivium Tuesdays, Works for Me Wednesdays, Raising Homemakers, Finishing Strong, Mom to Mom Monday, and R&R Wednesdays.
Disclosure: I received these DVDs from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries Canada and Graf-Martin Communications for the purpose of this review and have expressed my own honest opinions.