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The Big Questions for the Little People

Self Published (Available via bpadams@optusnet.com.au)
RRP $8:00

In this small book, Bill Adams takes us on a journey through his life and experience as a person who believes in God. He tells us stories about himself and those who have influenced him, and uses them to illustrate the broad tenets of his belief. It is a gentle yet robust way of demonstrating the lived reality of a person of faith.

Adams invites us to share his exploration of the “Big Questions,” from a Christ centric perspective, canvassing the existence of God, God as a Father figure, whether God can be known, why we are here, whether there is life after death and whether God guides us.

Instead of providing determinative answers (except for a definite “I don’t know” to the life after death one), Adams allows his story answer the questions. He is careful to emphasise however that his stories cannot be used as a substitute for the reader’s own exploration of faith. There are no pat answers here, just an earnest exploration of the issues surrounding the questions.

This approach acts like a conversation with the author, and the further you get into the book, the more effective it becomes. After Chapter 1, I was not sure whether I was on the same wave length, but by Chapter 2, I was hooked. It is here that Adams writes
“In my experience very few people come to faith in God through the classic arguments. Most of us come from a kind of spiritual intuition backed up by significant experiences like confrontations with reality, or exposure to a moral universe, or personal encounters, or moments of mystery.”

His focus on the personal experience of faith and the way that the big questions intersect with this, as an individual and community, will be recognised and appreciated by many within the church.

I think Adams’ approach will resonate for most people, especially those who cannot quite see how the formal theology of the church and their own lived faith actually intersect. This is a nice bridge builder; the questions at the end of each chapter would certainly be conversation starters in small group discussions.

Reviewed by Heather den Houting