David Ash
Book Review - Questions of Life

Questions of LifeQuestions of Life By Nicky Gumbel
What is the point of life?
What happens when I die?
Is forgiveness possible?
Who is Jesus?
What relevance does he have for our lives today?

In fifteen compelling chapeters Nicky Gumbel tackles the answers to these and other key questions, pointing the way to an authentic Christianity that is exciting and relevant to today's world.

Sandy Millar -- "Questions of life is a sympathetic, fascinating and immensely readable introduction to Jesus Christ - still the most attractive and captivating person that it is possible to know. Nicky Gumbel's informed approach ensures that the search for Truth fully engages our minds as well as our hearts."

Michael Ward -- Defining itself as "a practical introduction to the Christian faith", this paperback is addressed both to those who want to find out more about Christianity and those who have recently come to faith. The book is based on the massively successful "Alpha" enquirers' course which the author runs at his church in London, from which it had spread to over 7,000 other churches by the beginning of the year 2000. Indeed, it is partly designed to accompany that course, for each chapter has as a "study guide" a set of questions intended to prompt further thinking (and facilitate discussion, if used in groups). There are 15 such chapters, with titles such as "Who is Jesus?", "Why did Jesus die?", "Why and How Do I Pray?".

The first three chapters argue for the truth of the Christian gospel. The rest of the book assumes the reader is a believer and presents the initial steps of the Christian life in a clear, lively and accessible manner. Though Gumbel is a clergyman in the Church of England, he does not plug Anglicanism. Indeed, he dissolves denominational questions, claiming to take his understanding of the church straight from the New Testament. Readers should be aware that the book has a pronounced charismatic slant. For instance, there are three chapters on the Holy Spirit, but none on the Father. More striking still, the section on speaking in tongues is significantly longer than that on the Resurrection. Nevertheless, the cross-denominational success of the Alpha course shows that members of other Christian traditions can enjoy and benefit from its approach.

About The Author
Nicky Gumbel has written a number of best selling books. Questions of Life - the Alpha course in book form - has sold more than a million copies worldwide. The booklet Why Jesus? and its sister publication Why Christmas? have sold more than four million copies.

Nicky is also Vice President of Tearfund, a UK Christian relief and development agency working with a global network of local churches to help eradicate poverty and transform lives.

Nicky Gumbel is married to Pippa. They live in central London and have three children, Henry, Jonathan and Rebecca.

I think this book gives a good basic overview of the arguments for Christianity and I would particularly recommend the Alpha course to anyone who wants to find out more. There have been comments about denominational bias, but the course is run by most Christian/Catholic denominations, so it should be easy enough to find a church running the course that fits comfortably with your opinion of what a Church should be like. I became a Christian after attending this course three years ago and never looked back, but am constantly reading other books on the subject (I would particularly recommend Philip Yancey, CS Lewis and Alister McGrath) but this was a great starting point.

The book addresses key questions relevant both to Christians and non-Christians in a direct, uncomplicated and doctrinally sound manner. It aims to set out the evidence regarding Jesus, Salvation, the Holy Spirit, the Church and several other central issues, in a non-denominational manner. Its chapters, which form the basis of the Alpha course, are set in a logical sequence which comes together to postulate a strong message. The book's style is very approachable; it is humorous and topical without being irreverent; there is no arcane phraseology or obscure theology. And it is short! I found it intriguing and fulfilling, an excellent introduction to faith and to further inquiry.

Buy Now
You can by a copy of this book on Amazon. Prices range from £0.01 to £7.

Watch Now - Nicky speaks at HTB's Alpha Course on the subject - "Is there more to life than this?"