A.S.K

ask-FINALIt’s a joy to be able to say that the book I spent three months writing when on sabbatical in Australia is being published this month.   I am delighted with the design and the quality of the production – thanks to Al McInnes, Catherine Mackenzie and CFP.  They have managed to produce a quality hardback book for a great price (£8.99).   It’s an unusual book – trying to encourage young people to think for themselves and to think biblically.  All the questions are genuine.  It is a book designed for Christian young people, or those brought up in the church, to encourage them to pray, read, think and discuss.  I hope to write a follow up ‘Seek’ for those who are outside the Church and have lots of questions but I hope and pray this would be helpful to them too.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to A.S.K – Ask. Seek. Knock. These words are from Jesus:
‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened’ (Matthew 7:7-8).

This book deals with the first part of that promise from Jesus – Ask. We all have questions about Jesus, the Bible, the Christian faith and our culture today. The great news is that Jesus gives answers. The questions in this book were gathered from teenagers in fifteen countries in five different continents. All of them are real questions from real teenagers – with the exception of a couple of grammatical and spelling corrections they are as I was sent them. I received hundreds so I have tried to take a representative sample covering most of the main issues.

 

The format is very simple. There are fifty-two short chapters. Each contains a question, a Bible passage, a Bible verse, a discussion, something to consider, recommended further reading and a prayer.

63C5542A-D535-4A36-957B-018635129032This book is written for 15-17 year olds who are already Christians or who have grown up in a Christian home or go to church, who have questions. But I also hope it will prove helpful to those who are not yet Christians and those who are older and younger. It is designed to be used either individually or as part of a youth group, school or church. The further recommended reading is not a requirement! It’s just a suggestion for follow up on any particular question that you are especially interested in. Some of the books are quite hard-going, others are much easier … but my view is that every teenager has a brain … they just need to use them! If you are the kind of person who doesn’t like reading, or struggles with it, I hope that you will manage this book! The chapters are short, but there is a lot packed in them. If you want more – excellent – this book is not intended to be the definitive answer on any of the questions here. Think of them as discussion starters.

My aim is to try to get us all to think biblically about these issues, to pray and to worship. My ‘answers’ may result in further questions – I hope they will. But I hope even more that you will come to see and know better the one who is the answer. Jesus Christ. May we all be his disciples!

David Robertson

CONTENTS

Introduction / 7

 

1. God Speaks 1 Samuel 3 1 Samuel 3:10
2. Trusting the Bible 2 Timothy 3:10-17 2 Timothy 3:14-17
3. God’s Unchanging Word 1 Timothy 1:1-11 1 Timothy 1:9-11
4. Helping God Psalm 116 Psalm 116:12
5. Luke 1:1-4 Harry Potter Luke 1:1-25
6. Holy Spirit Blasphemy Mark 3:20-35 Mark 3:28-29
7. The Big Bang Genesis 1:1-23 Genesis 1:1-2
8. Science, Knowledge and God Romans 1:18-23 Romans 1:20
9. Finding God Job 11 Job 11:7
10. The Uncreated God Isaiah 40:21-31 Isaiah 40:28
11. The Gender of God Numbers 23:1-26 Numbers 23:19
12. The Trinity Matthew 28 Matthew 28:19-20
13. The Mind of God 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 1 Corinthians 2:16
14. God and Suffering Psalm 119:65-72 Psalm 119:68
15. The Cross John 3:14-21 John 3:16
16. Jesus – the Only Saviour Acts 4:1-12 Acts 4:12
17. Forgiveness Hebrews 9:11-28 Hebrews 9:22, 27-28
18. Hell Isaiah 30:8-18 Isaiah 30:18
19. Assurance 1 John 5:11-21 1 John 5:11-13
20. Animals in Heaven Psalm 104:24-35 Psalm 104:27-30
21. Suicide Judges 16:23-31 Judges 16:30
22. Those who have not heard Genesis 18:16-33 Genesis 18:25

23. The End of the World 2 Peter 3:1-18 2 Peter 3:10
24. Reincarnation John 5:16-30 John 5:28-29
25. The Purpose of Life Ephesians 2:1-10 Ephesians 2:10
26. Money and the Prosperity Gospel 1 Timothy 6:3-21 1 Timothy 6:9-10 27. Being a Christian Acts 11:19-30 Acts 11:25-26
28. Religion and Birth John 1:1-18 John 1:11-12
29. Hitler Ezekiel 18 Ezekiel 18:20

 

30. Racism and Africa Acts 17:16-34 Acts 17:26-28
31. North Korea Isaiah 40:1-20 Isaiah 40:15
32. Division and Peace Ephesians 2:11-22 Ephesians 2:14-17

33. Sex and Same Sex Marriage 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7
34. Pornography Matthew 5:27-30 Matthew 5:28
35. Islam and Love Matthew 5:38-48 Matthew 5:43-48
36. Transgender Genesis 1:24-31 Genesis 1:27
37. Loving Yourself Leviticus 19:1-18 Leviticus 19:18
38. Feeling Far From God Psalm 13 Psalm 13:1-2
39. The Trinity, Prayer and Exams 1 Peter 5:8-11 Peter 5:7
40. What’s the Point of Prayer James 5:13-20 James 5:16
41. Worry Matthew 6:24-34 Matthew 6:33-34
42. Christian Community and Internet Hebrews 10:19-25 Hebrews 10:24-25
43. Cool Christianity 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 1 Corinthians 1:18

44. Backsliding 1 John 1 1 John 1:9
45. Help – My Girlfriends Pregnant! John 8:1-15
46. Tattoos and Alcohol 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 1
Corinthians 6:20
47. Buddhist Parents Mark 7:1-13 Mark 7:10-13
48. Mental Illness Isaiah 42:1-17 Isaiah 42:3(a)
49. The Role of the Law Galatians 3:1-14 Galatians 3:10-11

50. Church, Salvation and Hypocrisy Acts 2:42-47 Acts 2:42

51. The Best Church Ephesians 4:1-16 Ephesians 4:16
52. Knowing Gods Will and Love Romans 12:1-21 Romans 12:2

And Finally / 219
Appendix – Recommended Books / 221

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In the coming weeks – I hope to put up some sample chapters on this blog – I may even go through the whole book – but I would encourage you to get your own copy and especially to give it to young people.   The purpose is not to provide all the answers, but to point our young people to think biblically for themselves and to be renewed in their minds as they Ask, Seek and Knock.

(You can order from Christian Focus Publications – or the usual outlets – bookshops, Amazon etc…)

 

8 thoughts on “A.S.K

  1. This book is going to be very encouraging and helpful to me as my two sons have rejected church and their faith.

    1. but to point our young people to think biblically
      for themselves

      Congrats on the publication. It’s probably the hope of every writer.

      I find the phrase ” …think biblically for themselves…” somewhat odd. Could you elaborate on it?
      I asked questions – a lot of questions – and the answers led me to question the veracity of the text from beginning to end.

      With this in mind, is there not a danger (from your perspective) that when teenagers ask pertinent questions (the inevitable product of thinking) this will inevitably lead to answers that are generally not compatible with the biblical text and thus lead them away from the intended purpose of the book?

      1. Its my sixth published book…..Thanks….

        My motto is to follow the facts wherever they lead. My job is to provoke people to think – not to tell them what to think. Since God’s word is truth – those who seek truth will find it..

  2. Hi David,

    I’m just across the Bass Strait from your future home — an ex-pat Canadian pastoring a Reformed church in Tasmania. Perhaps our paths will cross sometime here down under. Would it be possible to get a review copy?

  3. Some very interesting chapter titles. I’m particularly keen to read chapters 23, 29, and 30.
    I think this would be a great resource not just for teenagers, but young Christians too. These are important topics for the 21st century.
    It’s on my wishlist.

  4. My motto is to follow the facts wherever they lead.

    This is why I raised the point. The facts would surely lead these young people away from ”thinking biblically” as evidence does not support the text.

    How do you deal with this when questions such as evolution/creation, pseudoepigrapha, interpolation, the Flood and the Exodus, the contradictions the historical inaccuracies etc – are inevitably asked, and especially by the young people you are specifically targeting with the book?

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