This report is in the new edition of The Record which I was delighted to see is maintaining and improving its standard with the new editor John MacDonald. It is a very encouraging report – not because it praises the book – but because it shows how it can be used. I wrote A.S.K for the purpose that ‘Mowgli’ describes. It’s so encouraging to see that happening….
A.S.K – A Book in Action
It keeps every one of us asking and answering questions; not just knowing the right answers, but knowing why it is the right answer!
A.S.K. is a book which does exactly what it says on the tin: ‘Real World Questions / Real Word Answers’. David Robertson has provided a resource which we would do well to have on our shelves; whether we are the pastor, elder, member or questioner. Any of us can know the right answer to give but we may not know why it is the right answer. David not only answers these questions, but he does so, every time, from a biblical perspective.
At the end of each answer is a short section called, ‘Consider’. Helpfully, the reader is encouraged to think a little deeper about the subject and is pointed in a useful direction.
But of course, giving yourself two and a half pages per question doesn’t leave a lot of room for explanation, so a great feature about this book is that it points us to others. A.S.K. acknowledges that it is a launch pad to further study.
The last feature about the book is ‘Prayer’. To who else should we go to with our questions, but to the Lord? David leads the reader in prayer at the end of each chapter, submitting to God’s leading and correction.
I asked myself the question; what made me pick up this book at the Free Church General Assembly? Was it the sales pitch from the 10ofthose rep? Was it the intriguing front cover? Actually, I bought it because I thought this would be a reasonable resource to give to some of our youngsters in the church. Yet, the reality is, that this book has been equipping me for how I may answer my own, my friends and my family’s questions about Christianity.
I have been to hundreds of fellowships in my youth and heard almost all of these questions being asked. Sometimes the answers were helpful, other times the group stumbled in the dark. This book would provide a biblical framework for such questions to be asked and answered in the fellowship setting.
As I was preaching at our Mid-week meeting in Tain and Fearn Free Church, I alluded to one of the questions in the book: “If God really wants a relationship with me why doesn’t he show himself clearer?” I was able to share some of the points of evidence given in the book, including an amazing example from Dr John Lennox (which you need to go read). But David summed it up at the end by turning the question around to the questioner; “God has made himself clear, so maybe the fault lies elsewhere. Maybe the problem is not with God being silent, but us being unwilling to listen.”
We had a cup of tea after the meeting and it was so encouraging. I’ve rarely seen a reaction like I did that night. People were enthused as I engaged with the book. The folks were discussing the sermon at length with each other, bringing up other questions they had and wanting to know how to adequately answer their friends. I was delighted to give away my own copy on the night, so I made an order to Christian Focus (CFP) for a batch and am now making my second order as the first lot went immediately.
The book is targeted to answer teenagers’ questions and it definitely does that. However, I think it does so much more than that. A.S.K. is a resource that every single one of us can be using as we engage with our friends and neighbours each day. When they ask about; the Trinity, Hell, transgender, the end of the world, and so on. The book equips us to be more confident in our personal evangelism, we don’t just know what the right answer is, we can discern why it is the right answer.
Personally, as I have been reading A.S.K., I have become more inquisitive. Questions I didn’t know I had, or thought I knew the answers to are springing to mind and David Robertson’s book is proving to be a helpful source to turn to and then point me in a direction for further study.
This book is a must have for every church. It provides answers for our young people and anyone wanting to explore deeper into Christianity. It is a great resource for the church member to help them share the Gospel and keeps every one of us asking and answering questions; not just knowing the right answers, but knowing why it is the right answer!
Andrew (Mowgli) Macleod, Tain & Fearn Free Church