Today many Christians of all ages are questioning their Christian faith. Since 9/11 a new movement of bold atheists has arisen to question and even ridicule the Christian faith. While some are even saying that the Christian faith is outdated and Christians are uneducated and believe a bunch of fairytales, the Lord is raising up an army of apologist-theologians who are unashamed of the gospel. A new book Jesus Or Nothing by Dr. Dan DeWitt, dean of Boyce college, the undergraduate school of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, writes to counter these objections and help Christians to think carefully by comparing the Christian worldview with the notion of a godless universe devoid of true goodness and ultimate significance.
The author states his purpose is not “to offer finely tuned apologetic arguments- though there are several references to such defenses but instead to ask the reader to envision what the world would look like if the gospel were actually true” (17). Chapter one seeks to outline the story of the gospel. Here the author states his goal is to help the reader understand that “life boils down two categories, the ball or the cross. It’s either Jesus or Nothing” (31). Chapter two helps the reader understand the reason for our existence, while chapter three brings clarity to why we exist. Chapter four looks at grace and guilt and chapter five helps the reader understand the purpose of morality. Chapter six examines how to answer adversaries and chapter seven looks at the how Jesus gives meaning to life.
As I read this book, and spent some time afterwards thinking about what the author was trying to do in this book, I came to the conclusion that what he is doing is demonstrating the truth of C.S. Lewis statement that Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic or who He says He is. The Puritans said Jesus called people to a response and often divided His audience between those who would believe and those who would reject Him. The same is true today. While atheists and others have arisen to question and undermine the faith once and for all delivered to the saints, this is nothing new. Truly Solomon was right when he said there is nothing new under the sun. People may come and people may go but the Word of God will remain forever. His faithfulness endures even in the midst of attack and ridicule.
Often times Christians get the idea that they must understand all the objections to the Christian faith in order to respond to them. The best response to objections is a consistent Christian life. That kind of life testifies to the truth of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ like nothing else. As the author explains throughout this book, the rock-solid foundation for life that Christians enjoy is in and through the gospel. The author is right the gospel offers the explanation for the reason for our existence, grace for our guilt and meaning for our mortality. Whether you are struggling or wrestling with these issues or not, I encourage you to pick up Jesus or Nothing. Many people around you are struggling and they need your help. They need to see what a godly life looks like and how to respond to objections in a healthy God-honoring way. I encourage you to pick up Jesus or Nothing and learn from Dr. DeWitt, a man on the front lines helping train young men and women to know and make known the glory of the Cross in a world that views such proclamation as foolishness. I highly recommend this book for lay Christians, seminary students and pastors and those invested in teaching or training the new generation of Christian leaders.
Dave Jenkins is happily married to his wife, Sarah. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021), The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022), and Contentment: The Journey of a Lifetime (Theology for Life, 2024). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.