Footprints of Faith: Defending the Faith in a Skeptical Age
A person’s footprint is a permanent record that his or her presence has been felt. It’s a wonderful record when you can look back at your past travels and tangibly point to your progress. It is a tangible sign of where you started and a guide to where you must travel. If Christians are going to leave footprints of faith that can withstand the challenges of our time, we must evaluate our faith through the lens of the skeptical questions of our secular culture. In other words, we Christians cannot leave a clear footprint of our faith without giving answers to the challenging issues of our day. Our children, our family, friends, and our neighbors will increasingly be unable to embrace their faith unless they are given practical and relevant tools to answer key questions.
Footprints of Faith identifies ten critical topics that address the heart of understanding and defending the Christian faith. During my thirty years of pastoral ministry I have honed an approach to each of these topics that resonates with ordinary folks and easily translates into conversations with the unchurched and unsaved. Our defense of the faith must make sense to the world.
Every issue addressed in Footprints of Faith is relevant and practical. All too often, apologetics is over the head of the garden-variety Christian. My goal is to make apologetics relevant for every single person. It provides an intentional game plan for individual churches to address apologetics within the overall teaching and equipping ministry of their church. It provides suggestions, resources, and approaches for pastors, leaders, small group leaders, and staff who can translate this book into the life-blood of the church.
Footprint #1: Defining Faith in a Skeptical Age – Before we can begin to address specific Christian topics or doctrines we must defend the very concept of faith. Far too many of our skeptical friends dismiss everything we say about Christianity because they have already dismissed the very notion of faith. Many skeptics believe that practicing faith is simply sticking one’s head in the sand. This footprint gives us specific talking points that address the all-too-common myths about faith.
Footprint #2: How Can Faith Survive a Relativistic Culture? It’s vital that Christians are able to defend our faith in the presence of a thoroughly relativistic culture. Remember, our culture believes in relative morality and relative truth. If we can’t defend the Christian faith in the face of those two challenges, we have nothing more to say. We have lost all credibility.
Footprint #3: How Can You Disarm Your Doubts? The topic of doubt is one of the biggest reasons why we look to the subject of apologetics. We need answers to the doubts that come into our lives. This footprint gives us three tangible tools to disarm our doubts.
Footprint #4: Where is God When It Hurts? If we don’t have the tools to process our own grief, hurt, and pain it’s unlikely that we will be in an emotionally and spiritually healthy position to defend our faith. This chapter provides the tools for Christians to better process the difficulties and trials that God allows into our lives.
Footprint #5: Why Does God Allow Evil & Suffering? This footprint provides a clear defense for those skeptical friends who doubt the existence of an all-powerful and all-good God because of the evil and suffering in the world. It is not sufficient to merely process our own grief and pain. We must answer the accusations of skeptics who refuse to believe God exists because of evil and suffering.
Footprint #6: Is Belief in God Reasonable? This footprint lays a foundation for addressing the question of whether or not belief in God is something that an educated and reasonable person might consider. This chapter provides five specific reasons why a reasonable person can make a claim for belief in God.
Footprint #7: Can You Trust the Bible? This footprint addresses the crucial challenge that faces the Christian who believes in the truthfulness of the Bible. Our skeptical friends doubt whether they can trust the Bible due to its alleged errors, inconsistencies, and mythical stories. The Christian who is eager to pass his or her faith to the next generation must possess the tools to defend belief in the integrity of the Bible.
Footprint #8: Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Myth or Miracle? This footprint appears for the simple and compelling reason that without the resurrection Christianity is dead. However, the notion of the supernatural (Jesus coming back from the dead) is scoffed at in our skeptical age. Therefore, this chapter provides the modern believer with a compelling case to defend the Christian understanding of the resurrection.
Footprint #9: Is Mormonism Christian? Mormonism claims to be the only true Christian Church. In our day and age of politically correct speech it is hard to criticize other religious groups. However, this chapter will provide the tools to answer two specific questions: Is Mormonism uniquely Christian? Is Mormonism uniquely true?
Footprint #10: Is Islam or Christianity True? Islam and Christianity are the two biggest religions in the world. In the pursuit of truth a seeker must eventually come to the realization that Islam and Christianity can’t both be true. This chapter will clarify how to make sense of these very different truth claims. It will also demonstrate the importance of gracious interaction with our Islamic friends and neighbors.
Dr. Brent Strawsburg
Apologetics Consultant, Pacific Church Network Founder and President of Brent Strawsburg Apologetics
Dr. Strawsburg is a Tim Keller type—a pastor and churchman who is intelligent and clear headed. This is an extraordinary
book for ordinary people.
Dr. J.P. Moreland
Distinguished Professor of Philosophy
Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
Author of The Soul: How We Know Its Real and Why It Matters
I found Dr. Strawsburg’s new book Footprints of Faith a remarkable work on apologetics. He takes on the toughest
questions, answers them thoroughly and cogently, but does so in a way everybody can understand. I predict that this will be
a big hit in Bible study groups across North America. It’s very well done.
Craig J. Hazen, Ph.D.
Founder and Director of the Christian Apologetics Program
Author of the novel, Five Sacred Crossings
As a pastor, I understand how difficult it is to tame tough topics and make them accessible to a wide audience. Brent has
done this, and he does it well. If the subject of apologetics has ever intimidated you, let Brent guide you into this enriching
world through an important collection of topics. You’ll be glad you did!
Pastor, Morningside Community Church
Footprints of Faith tackles some of the toughest questions people have today about God, faith, and other religions. What I
appreciate most is that Brent provides solid biblical responses, but he does so with a pastoral heart.
Sean McDowell, Ph.D.
Biola University Professor, Speaker, Author
Dr. Strawsburg has written an excellent single volume–it’s a one-stop-shop for apologetics. Footprints of Faith is organized
in a fashion that could tremendously benefit a small group. It is easy to read and the chapters are short enough to convey
key thoughts but not too long to lose the average reader. For those who want to dig deeper, there is a nice selection of
resources. The need for an introductory resource is valuable for the church. I found Footprints of Faith to be a good mix
between the head and the heart as well as faith and reason.
Dr. Brian Harris
Lead Pastor, Pine Acres Church
Whether you are looking to believe, explain, or defend Christianity, this book—Footprints of Faith—can definitely help! Dr.
Brent Strawsburg makes a difficult topic practical, easily grasped, and personal as only a pastor, whose own life and faith
have repeatedly been rocked by adversity, can. As a friend for years, I wholeheartedly endorse this book because I have
witnessed Brent and his family steadily walking forward, upward, and through life’s challenges with grace, courage, and
resiliency. Isn’t that the purpose of real faith after all?
Founder, CEO, Mission ConneXion
I am delighted to recommend Brent Strawsburg’s work, Footprints of Faith. It’s a wonderful resource that will benefit the next
generation of seekers and followers of Jesus. It provides solid answers to some of the toughest questions and will be a
great encouragement to its readers. I commend Brent and his book heartily!
Scott B. Rae, Ph.D.
Dean of Faculty and Professor of Christian Ethics
Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
In its day More than a Carpenter was the most accessible apologetics book you could read and share with others. Today,
Footprints of Faith fills that same need. With a winsome conversation style and contemporary talking points, Brent has
crafted what easily is my new #1 favorite apologetics book. Whatever you do, don’t put this on a bookshelf. Read it! Enjoy it!
Corban University, www.corban.edu
Hope is rising in the church today because more of us are finally committing to winning the lost instead of wiping them
out. Footprints of Faith is a powerful and practical guide for those of us who simply want to stay on mission and be
ambassadors for Christ. I’ve known Brent for over a decade–his gift for training others to think clearly, speak persuasively,
and above all serve humbly, is a gift to us all. Buy ten more copies of this book today and gather your friends to talk through
Dr. John Dix
Lead Pastor, Grace Church of Glendora
Footprints of Faith speaks to one of the biggest challenges of our time: How do we help a drifting irreligious culture to see
the viability of the Christian faith. Strawsburg brings clarity on understanding and answering common questions or positions.
This book is particularly unique in how he leans chapters in a pastoral direction; helping Christians know how to
communicate with others, and often helping them see the richness of truth for their own lives.
Dr. Gary Comer
Author of Soul Whisperer, Soul Whisperer Ministries
Since our days at Biola together, I’ve felt that Dr. Strawsburg would one day make a useful contribution to Apologetic
literature. Footprints of Faith more than fulfills that expectation. The book makes an impression upon the mind that, unlike
other books of its genre, will not soon be washed away the by the ebb and flow of popular tides. Brent has left us with a
clear path, lovingly marking out each step with its own lasting and visible footprint of faith.
Founder & President of WordTrax.com
Along with his own easy to understand thoughts on complex issues, Brent has brought together many scripture references
and quotes from theologians to answer some tough questions of the Christian faith in this very helpful and practical book.
Dr. Jim Smith
Executive Director, Pacific Church Network
How many Christians have confidence in their ability to share their faith? Scripture tells us to “always be ready to give a
defense to everyone who asks us to give an account for the hope that is in us.” I have witnessed the passion that Dr.
Strawsburg has for equipping believers to effectively share their faith. Our church has repeatedly invited Dr. Brent to
address the topics within his book–the response has been awesome. Footprints of Faith is so well written, I can promise it
will make a difference in your ability to be an effective witness for Christ.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept.
Elder Board Chairman–First Baptist Church, Canoga Park
It is the responsibility of every Christian leader in every generation to equip believers to defend the truth claims of
Christianity. With the heart of a pastor and the mind of a scholar, Dr. Brent Strawsburg has given a fantastic defense in an
engaging, personal and thought-provoking way. Dr. Strawsburg has taken from a wide array of voices within the Christian
tradition and presented these timeless truths in a very timely way. I’m sure you will enjoy reading Footprints of Faith.
Associate Director of Apologetics Canada and Teaching Pastor at Maple Ridge Baptist Church
Author of Clear Minds & Dirty Feet