When we use the phrase four-letter words, we’re often referring to some kind of vulgarity, and it’s this reference that Bill Giovannetti uses to frame an apologetic response to some of the usual atheistic arguments the would-be evangelist will encounter in today’s world in that conservative Christian beliefs have become four-letter words in our culture.
Giovannetti writes enjoyable prose, alternating between humor and playing the reader’s heart strings, which is a welcomed break from most apologists' styles when dealing with such dry material. He uses a lot of personal stories about sharing his faith with friends, love, loss, and embarrassment that pull apologetics out the theoretical realm of philosophy and plant it squarely in the practical, and being a practical person I appreciate that a lot.
There’s lots of scripture and lots of recommendations to pray with whoever you’re talking to about whatever the topic of discussion is, which I also appreciate a lot. And the author even takes on the topic of sex in the Wait chapter, which most Christians tend to avoid talking about in detail because of “modesty” issues, which to an atheist really just looks like you don’t know anything about it or you’re a fuddy-duddy, when in reality we have some of the best guides to healthy sex in scripture. Take a lap around Song of Solomon and see what I mean.
Being a techie, I really like that the book is QR enabled. I tested out a few of the QR codes, and most of them seem to take you to the Four Letter Words website; where you’ll find articles, links, and videos for further study on the topics that Giovannetti is presenting.
Now, if I were looking for a drawback to the book, it would be the same drawback I’ve seen with most apologetics books, and that’s the focus on knowledge and logic over God when it comes to a changed heart. Most apologists would be quick to profess that they know lives and hearts are only changed by the power of God, but I’ve honestly never seen an apologist's book that just comes out and says it: point blank. Giovannetti alluded to the idea more than most, but again he is focused more on the acquiring of information and good debating skills rather than prayer, hearing God’s voice, and being led by the Spirit—which are all given higher priorities than studying, at least in terms of the amount of scripture related to them versus studying to show ourselves approved.
I’m not saying I don’t think apologetics is important and useful. I love these kinds of books, and I especially love Four Letter Words, it was fun and informative, and I recommend it highly. However without the power of Christ and the conviction of the Holy Spirit present in evangelism, apologetics is a fairly powerless witness. Take it from a former atheist. If your opponent has spent any amount of time on the Internet, he/she will have answers to your questions and responses to your claims. But when God is involved, it comes down to “will I repent” or “won’t I”. There aren’t any good arguments for the power of God.
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion and review from Litfuse Blog Tour and Endurant Press. See what others on the tour are saying about Four Letter Words here.
From the Publisher
About Four Letter Words:
Thou shalt tolerate every opinion... except the Christian's. Today's postmodern "prime directive" leaves many followers of Jesus tongue-tied. In the global village, isn't it unreasonable, and even dangerous, to suggest that the Bible has a monopoly on truth? The church needs a new breed of Christ-follower. We need Christ-followers who are alert to today's touchy ideas, the truths that fire up more heat than light. We need Christ-followers who can make a clear case for the Bible's worldview; who are ready to help our friends think through their beliefs; who can recognize inconsistencies and challenge them; and who can do all of this with humility, confidence, humor, and love. For more information visit http://fourletterwords.org .
About Bill Giovannetti:
Dr. Bill Giovannetti is a professor at A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary and the senior pastor of Neighborhood Church of Redding. An experienced speaker and author, Bill informs the mind in ways that touch the heart. He enjoys life with his wife and two kids in northern California. For more information about Bill and his other books, visit http://maxgrace.wordpress.com and http://fourletterwords.org .
Bill is celebrating the new Kindle edition of Four Letter Words (for only $4.99)! He’ll be traveling coast to coast over the next few weeks on this virtual book tour and he's celebrating by hosting a great giveaway! Click here ( http://fourletterwords.org/2012/01/contest-giveaway ) to find out how you can win two gift certificates to Amazon (in the amount of $50 and $25) and free downloads of his yet-to-be-released title, Recession-Proof: Living a God-Blessed Life in a Messed Up World. The whole scoop here: http://fourletterwords.org/2012/01/contest-giveaway /