Book Review: The Story of Reality
The Story of Reality: How the World Began, How It Ends, and Everything Important that Happens in Between (Zondervan, 2017).
Greg Koukl is already well known for writing Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted In Mid-Air (with Francis Beckwith – Baker Books, 1998) and Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions (Zondervan, 2009), speaking on scores of university campuses, hosting a radio show for almost 30 years, serving as an adjunct professor of Christian apologetics at Biola University, and being Founder/President of Stand to Reason. So, why a book about reality and why now?
“The first question any of us learns to ask about anything—and we usually learn to ask it quite early in life—is ‘Why?’ … There are answers to life’s most basic questions, though, and in this book I want to give them to you. I know the answers not because I am especially clever and figured them out on my own. Of course, some things you can safely conclude if you think carefully about the cause … But the best way to get accurate insight into any story is to let the author tell you himself. Yes, life is a kind of story and this Story has an Author. This is one thing that’s fairly easy to figure out from the clues. In this book I want to tell you that story—the Story of reality—and help you see your place in it.” Preface, p 17-18
I enjoy reading something written from a logical perspective. That’s what Greg Koukl does in The Story of Reality. He begins with a perspective of reality, then moves logically through what people need to know to know reality: God, Man, Jesus, Cross, Resurrection. Nancy Pearcey wrote this in the Foreword to The Story of Reality –
“As you read this book by Greg Koukl, you will find your perspective gently being reoriented. He helps you to put first things first, enabling you to perceive how reasonable and cogently everything fits together and falls into place. The Christian worldview is logically coherent. Each principle follows the one that went before, like an expertly composed symphony or a carefully crafted storyline.”
Why this book now? Because the concept of reality has undergone an amazing change and not for the good. Many people are confused about reality. Is anything real or do we just create our own reality? Can many different realities all be real at the same time? Koukl addresses those issues well in the introductory section of his book.
I believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the “story of reality,” so I highly recommend The Story of Reality for every Christian who wants to better understand how to present the Gospel to their non-believing family members and friends. It would also be an excellent tool for Christians to use to read through the book with family and friends and discuss each aspect of the Gospel. You might also consider it for a Bible study group. Whatever your purpose, please make this book part of your ministry this year.
From the Publisher
Biblical Christianity is more than just another private religious view. It’s more than just a personal relationship with God or a source of moral teaching.
Christianity is a picture of reality.
It explains why the world is the way it is. When the pieces of this puzzle are properly assembled, we see the big picture clearly. Christianity is a true story of how the world began, why the world is the way it is, what role humans play in the drama, and how all the plotlines of the story are resolved in the end.
In The Story of Reality, best-selling author and host of Stand to Reason, Gregory Koukl, explains the five words that form the narrative backbone of the Christian story. He identifies the most important things that happen in the story in the order they take place:
If you are already a Christian, do you know and understand the biblical story? And for those still seeking answers to the questions of life, this is an invitation to hear a story that explains the world in a way nothing else will. This story can change your life forever.
“My friend Greg Koukl is known as a man whose ambition is to be pleasing to God—and his newest work, The Story of Reality, certainly is ambitious. How can one cover “the reason for everything” in a single manuscript? Well, Greg tackles the challenge valiantly and courageously, addressing the heartfelt plea of every person who asks, “Why am I here? What is so important about life?” Thoughtful, provocative, and intellectually stimulating, Greg walks the reader through the big issues of life, giving answers that are truly worthy of consideration by the toughest skeptic. I highly recommend this stirring book by a most remarkable apologist!” — Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni and Friends International Disability Center
“I have known Greg Koukl for a quarter of a century as a smart, well-educated man of integrity with a tender heart for God. I’ve enjoyed his previous writings, but The Story of Reality is clearly his best and most important book to date. I couldn’t put it down. Koukl carries on a conversation with the reader, presenting the big elements of the Christian Story, providing reasons for believing the Story, and contrasting it, when appropriate, with alternative narratives. The book has a wonderful feel of authenticity. I highly recommend it for believers who want to be encouraged and instructed, and it’s an excellent give-away for an open unbeliever.” — J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
“Greg Koukl is a master communicator! The Story of Reality is a beautifully crafted description of the Christian worldview, written in an accessible, winsome, and well-reasoned manner. If you’re curious about why Christians see the world the way we do, or you’re a believer who simply wants to communicate Christianity in an articulate way to others, this book is for you!” — Lee Strobel, bestselling author of The Case for Christ and The Case for Grace
“We’re not likely to glean the point of our existence from CNN. It takes the greatest story ever told—and a great storyteller—to steal us away from our dead-end plots and to display the richness of reality as Greg Koukl does here. These are the big questions, and The Story of Reality answers them in a sharp, winsome, and accessible way. Read it, and then give it to a friend!” — Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Theology, Westminster Seminary California; author of Pilgrim Theology
“The Story of Reality is a delightful and bold book. Greg Koukl has masterfully captured the heart of the Christian story in a way that is clarifying and insightful for believers but also eye-opening and thought-provoking for nonbelievers. The Story of Reality is a book worth reading carefully, discussing with friends, and ultimately passing on to others.” — Sean McDowell, professor at Biola University; author of more than fifteen books, including A New Kind of Apologist
“When I looked into Koukl’s Story of Reality, I thought, “This is not how I would say this.” I would have used more technical terms, added quite a bit of history, expanded it by a couple of hundred pages, and put in about a thousand footnotes. So readers can rejoice that, instead, Greg Koukl is the right man to tell the story in such a clear, concise, and conversational way. This book explains the central ideas of Christianity and answers questions people are really asking.” — Fred Sanders, Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University; author of The Deep Things of God
“When I first read The Story of Reality, I knew I was reading a modern classic. Like C. S. Lewis before him, Greg Koukl has written a masterful, measured, intelligent, and insightful book—a must-read for anyone who wants to understand Christianity and it’s unique ability to explain the way the world really is. Greg will enlighten and inspire you, just as he’s inspired me as my mentor for many years. The Story of Reality is a book you’ll read more than once. It will take its rightful place alongside other Christian classics on your bookshelf.” — J. Warner Wallace, author of Cold-Case Christianity, God’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith
“Not since Mere Christianity has a book so wonderfully told the Story of Reality. The Greatest Story Ever Told is true, and Greg Koukl tells it in such a compelling way that I’m recommending you not only experience it but give a copy to everyone you care about. Why? Because The Story of Reality is not just the Christian Story—it is your Story whether you believe it or not.” — Frank Turek, author of I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist
“This primer on a Christian outlook on life by Greg Koukl covers an incredibly large number of the pithiest issues in an amazingly small number of pages. Time and again I wondered, “Now how is Greg going to work his way through this question quickly and nontechnically?” But the thoughtful, succinct, and quick-moving answer that followed never disappointed and was handled amazingly. It is not an exaggeration to call this treatment C. S. Lewis–like in a number of ways. Those who pay attention to the fast pace will later be astonished at how far they have come. I recommend it highly.” — Gary R. Habermas, Distinguished Research Professor and Chair, Dept. of Philosophy, Liberty University
“Greg Koukl thinks you deserve answers to your “why” questions about reality, and he offers them with wit and compassion. The Story of Reality brings the greatest story ever told to life in all its brilliant simplicity.” — Jeff Myers, President, Summit Ministries
The Story of Reality: How the World Began, How It Ends, and Everything Important that Happens in Between (Zondervan, 2017, 208 pages)