Main Image: Dan Paterson (left) and Rian Roux at the Questioning Christianity book launch (Rob Heywood). Listen: Alex Milne speaks with Dan about the new book and why he hopes the book will help more than just those new to the Christian faith.
For many years Dan Paterson has helped Christians and non-believers alike wrestle with life’s deepest questions about faith, God and Christianity.
Dan has worked as a pastor, a lecturer and a public speaker and spent a number of years studying theology and apologetics at Oxford University, so he’s well placed in unpacking some of the issues people wrestle with.
He spoke to 96five’s Alex Milne about his new book ‘Questioning Christianity’, co-authored with Rian Roux, and said that a huge part of the book was about stripping back much of the cultural baggage that has been added to Christianity over the years.
“We first wanted to re-tell the Christian story; to explain the big story of the Bible in six major scenes and connect those scenes to a major question, that no matter where you are in life, people will be asking.”
“Then we wanted to explain what the Bible says about believing in and following Jesus. Then in part three of the book we help to give sense of the many doubts and objections that people tend to have.
“That’s where we give them space to question the story and to see whether truth really stands up under scrutiny.”
After constantly being asked for book recommendations about how to have better God conversations with friends, Rian had put pen to paper before realising a collaboration would be more satisfying.
“Rian is a dear friend of mine and he took me out for dinner and basically said that had never known exactly what that book should be and he thought we should write that book.
“When people co-author a book the normal process is that you work on chapters individually.
“That’s not how we worked; I would write something and send it to Rian, then he would rewrite it and that process would go on until we were both happy with what we had.”
Dan said the book is really aimed at two audiences – at those who have no belief in Christianity, and also for Christians who are struggling with their faith.
“We wanted to write a book that has a relevance to everyone; whether you’re a newcomer to the Christian story, or even seasoned believers so that they can have the language to be able to talk about their faith, or give responses to some the hard questions their friends ask about Jesus.
“For the person who has been walking with God for a while and has had some serious hard knocks, our hope in writing this book was to really help hone in on how Jesus is God’s answer to our every heart cry.”