The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters

Charles Colson, Author, Harold Fickett, Author . Zondervan $18.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-310-27603-6

Longtime collaborators Colson and Fickett address the very tenets of the Christian faith in order “to renew ourselves as Christians and the Church as God's people.” Generally they do this well, first offering an overview of challenges facing the church and then moving on to specific core issues. Chapter builds on chapter, from “God Is” to “He Has Spoken” to “Truth” and so on to “Last Things.” Especially thought-provoking is the question of why so many people accuse the Christian faith of being “dry and brittle.” One answer, the authors say, is the church's “failure to teach what the faith is.” Colson and Fickett call the church to rediscover the “joy of orthodoxy,” to renew the surrounding culture and to rethink how we live out faith. “If there's ever been a time in which renewal was essential, it is today,” they say. Those who know Colson's work will appreciate his pointed statements and bold words, while those looking for subtle shadings of doctrinal issues may be aghast at the lack thereof. The book's strength lies not in minutiae but in opening the discussion on orthodoxy and what living as a Christian means by going back to faith's beginnings. (Mar.)