Interview Questions and Answers for Susan Reinhardt’s interview of
Pamela Christian about her first in a three-book series,
Examine Your Faith! Finding Truth in a World of Lies
What do you hope readers will gain from your book?
Examine Your Faith! Finding Truth in a World of Lies, takes readers through an inductive process to honestly reconsider what they believe and why they believe it. My goal is for them to intentionally arrive at a confident faith conviction. Since what we believe to be true, dictates every decision we make in life and as most believe, has direct bearing on our eternal life, it is extremely important to have a confident faith conviction.
Why do you think people need help in having a confident faith conviction?
I’ve been speaking and teaching on the matter of faith for over twenty years. In my experience I’ve learned that what most people refer to as faith is really wishful thinking or a hope which is far different from a confident faith conviction. People have been influenced by a culture of political correctness and many other popular notions that have actually served to erode true faith.
In starting to write my book I used the most popular search engines to locate two different highest ranking online dictionaries. Looking up the definition of the words truth and faith, I discovered that both these dictionaries had it wrong. With the popular definitions of these two core words being off the mark, it’s evidence that as a culture we are too.
How do you help people examine what they believe and why?
By systematically considering absolute truth against the claim that truth is relative, by exploring religious pluralism, (the believe that all roads lead to the same God and heaven) and the various major world religions (Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity) and New Age, readers can more confidently determine what religious belief is truly worthy of their faith. Many people hold ideals, values and philosophies that have never been held up to the test of scrutiny. This means a person could easily believe something to be true that in reality isn’t. No one wants to live their life on the basis of a lie. Yet, I assert that unless we intentionally examine what we believe and why we believe it, we could be deceived and not know it. It is, after all, the very nature of deception that the victim is unaware.
What has been your personal life experiences that allow you to offer the insights that you do in your book?
I was raised to have the freedom to explore religious faith on my own, with very little input from my parents. Without realizing it, I adopted various points of view that I thought were sound and also consistent with Christian beliefs. Had it not been for a significant life crisis, (which I share in my book), that caused me to question everything I had ever believed true, I would still be living in deception today.
Having started my journey for truth and faith more than twenty years ago, I’ve had many years teaching, writing, broadcasting and more on this. My interest to learn more led me to enroll in Biola University’s course in Christian apologetics in 2003 from which I have a certificate of completion.
As a public speaker one of the first questions I ask my audience is “Who in this room wants to live your life on the basis of a lie?” No one ever raises their hand to that question, which is very revealing. It means that universally we prefer truth over deception and that we then view truth as “good” and lies as “bad.” Yet, without a deliberate, and I’ll add courageous, effort to examine what we believe and why, we could be basing our life—our eternal life—on lies. I don’t want people to come to a major life crisis, when they need their faith to be in tact, only to find out as I did, that it is faulty. The way I explain it is to say that faith is a lot like automobile insurance. You must have it firmly in place before there’s a need for it.
What makes your book distinctive from other books that cover the same topics?
My book is written in an inductive fashion. I disclose up front that I have taken the same journey I seek to take my readers through and I have concluded that Christianity is the religious faith that I can wholly accept. However, it is not my goal to tell people what to think. Rather I help them use their own intellect through the process of logic and reason to conclude for him or her self. I write with genuine compassion and respect for the reader because I know first hand, that embarking on this journey is not easy—but it is so necessary.
To help my readers begin the journey I explain that well-meaning people want to believe that all religions are equal and all roads lead to the same God and heaven. Then I point out that simply claiming a matter to be true, does not make it so. The first issue to resolve is an understanding about what truth is, so I tackle that at the start.
Then, I explore religious tolerance as it is expressed today. Once upon a time religious tolerance meant accepting people of different religious world views. Today however, it is far from that. In our post-modern culture we have individuals selecting various tenets of different religious beliefs to create their own “faith,” according to personal subjective preferences. I want my readers to truly consider any merits or detriments of this manner of “acquiring faith.”
Then by providing a general overview of the five major world religions and New Age, I want the reader to conclude on the matter of religious pluralism. I have devoted entire chapters to explain, in an overview fashion, the basic tenets of each of the world’s religions and New Age so that people can compare and contrast and arrive at a personally satisfying conclusion concerning faith. This is not a book that tells people what to think. Rather it’s a book that presents the facts so that the reader can conclude with a confident faith conviction.
I will add that it takes courage to intentionally examine what you believe and why. There are many people whom we love and respect who have helped us shape our faith. To question our faith can feel like we are betraying these individuals. But since most people believe that the human soul and spirit are eternal, the ramifications of not examining our faith outweigh the temporary discomfort. There will be those who read my book and conclude that their faith is in tact, which will serve to strengthen their faith conviction and hopefully embolden then to share their faith with others. Conversely, I already know of many who have read my book and discovered answers to questions they’ve never secured before that have altered their faith conviction.
Give us two or three insights from the book that would be helpful to Christians.While this book is excellent for religious skeptics and seekers, Christians can gain a great deal from
the book. Christians are commanded by Jesus to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching themto observe all things that Christ has commanded. This is referred to as the Great Commission.
Yet, precious few are able to sufficiently and effectively share their faith. Many are tripped up with the first question, “What is truth?” Others are convoluting their faith—actually rendering it impotent with the collection of popular ideals under the banners of tolerance and political correctness. This reality means that greater numbers than ever are not only improperly informed, but have their eternal life at risk. Each individual Christian has the mandate of the Great Commission. It is my hopes that this book will better equip Christians to do what we’re called to do.
What has the response been to the book so far?
Well, to start, the fact that Josh McDowell, Dr. Craig Hazen and Dan Story, among others have endorsed it means a great deal to me! Their response has encouraged me to expand this book project. Examine Your Faith, Finding Truth in a World of Lies, is therefore the first in a three-book series. It will be followed by a book explaining effective faith then one that leads a person to excellent faith. It could be said that the series is about faith, hope and love.
I have been exceedingly gratified at the response I’ve received from readers. It was important for me to write a book that expresses loving compassion. And while I use apologetics, (systematic approach to defending the truth), this book is not written in an academic fashion. Rather it is very personal. That’s not to say that the book is void of any mental challenges! There are those. But anything worthy of our faith deserves to be seriously considered. So the fact that people have commented on the loving tone of the book is rewarding.
I especially liked what one reader suggested, which was to remove the endorsement pages before giving the book to a non-Christian, skeptic or seeker. The endorsers have read the entire book and many express their conclusion in their endorsement. It was my goal to offer a good, inductive resource to guide people, to arrive at a satisfying conclusion about their personal religious faith. So I concur, tear out the endorsements as needed and give the book out to everyone you want to discover truth!
How are you promoting your book and where can your book be purchased?
Certainly fun virtual parties like this book blog tour is one way I’m promoting it. And I can’t thank Diane Estrella and you enough for this! We have contests and prizes associated with this blog tour. I also have a longer running contest from my web site and Rafflecopter on my Facebook page where depending on the number of books sold through my web site the grand prize could be $250.00 cash. No purchase is necessary to win (but it helps the prize structure!) Only subscribers to my bi-monthly ENewsletter or my blog are eligible.
I also have a great book trailer viewable on my home page that I encourage people to tweet and about and Like and share. And of course I’m using social media too with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. And I really enjoy the interaction on sites like Good Reads and Book Fun.
Until October 15, 2013 the best price to get the soft cover is from my web store. It’s priced lower than Amazon or Barnes and Noble. But after that, my readers will still get unique value from me with special promotional materials and preferential treatment. The holidays are right around the corner for many people. Perhaps the gift of this book will change lives. I certainly hope and pray so.