What do I think of Luke Cawley’s book published by IVP? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
I was recommended by a friend that I should get this book and review it and have the author on my show. Since then, I have got and read the book, I am reviewing it and yes, he will be on the Deeper Waters Podcast. I found the book to be an interesting look at how to do evangelism.
Cawley deals with three types of people in the book mainly. The first group is the one that identifies as Spiritual But Not Religious and frankly, there hasn’t been a lot of material I’ve seen in most apologetics books dealing with this group. The next is that of atheists that you encounter. Finally, he goes with people that we know are nominal Christians.
Cawley’s main idea is to do a lot of relational apologetics and draws you into the story of the people that you’re interacting with. He points out rightly that sometimes, it does take more than just correct answers. Sometimes bridges need to be built to help people relate.
I also think some of these ideas were just excellent. I’m intrigued by the idea of starting up what he called an Agnostics Anonymous where you have people meet together somewhere and just discuss the questions that they have about Christianity. Perhaps when we get some more funding in, I’ll start doing that so we can order pizza for everyone or something. It did sink in for me the importance of having a safe place where people can discuss the issues. Unfortunately for many, that will not be a church because sadly, the church has often closed the door to questioners.
If you come to this book wanting apologetics arguments, you really won’t find a lot of them. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about learning how to connect with the people that you’re interacting with on a regular basis. It did leave me with a reminder of the importance of evangelism, something that can ironically get lost in the apologetics world.
If there were some matters I’d change, I wish more had been said for some who are struggling on the section about nominal Christians. There are a lot of Christians I meet who are doubting their salvation and when I ask them, I find they don’t really have much reason to do so. They’re emotional doubters and some could read sections like the one on nominal Christians and worry that they themselves are the nominal Christians.
I also frankly do not understand the title still and I wish that that had been explained. You could say that authors regularly don’t get to choose the titles of their books, but Cawley does refer to it from time to time. I do not think he is advocating a position of universalism, but I was still unclear at the end what exactly was being advocated. I wish that this had been spelled out more.
Still, this is a book that I think will be helpful for those wanting to learn not apologetics but a method of how to do apologetics. I recommend it.