Mark Mittelberg is the author of Becoming a Contagious Church and coauthor, alongside Bill Hybels, of Becoming a Contagious Christian. His latest work is Choosing Your Faith: In a World of Spiritual Options (Tyndale, 2008). CT's Stan Guthrie spoke with him.
Many books have been written about Christian apologetics. What's different about this one?
It seems that we live in a world with increasing numbers of spiritual choices before us: religions, cults, sects, and secular viewpoints, including the New Atheism. The average person is thinking, I don't know what to think about all of this stuff. How do I figure out if any of it's true? Maybe I just won't believe any faith. Well, we all have faith in something. But have we thought about it? Have we carefully weighed our options? Have we considered what criteria to use to figure out what's true?
The first half of this book is about how to weigh the criteria, and I show six faith paths that people tend to travel on as they figure out what to believe. And I help people think about which of those paths are more reliable, and which are less reliable, so that they know what criteria to value in their journey.
Is your book for the informed secular person, or also for followers of other religious traditions, such as Muslims and Hindus?
Both. I'm not saying there aren't exceptions, but most peopleChristian and non-Christianbelieve because Mom and Dad told them it's true or because it was part of their culture growing up. I challenge them to test their traditions and think about this vitally important area more carefully.
How do cultural currents such as immigration and increasing pluralism affect your approach?
They increase the sense of confusion about what to believe. We're in such a widely ...