Feb. 17, 2019
Clint Arnold, dean of Talbot School of Theology, and his son, alumnus Jeff Arnold (’08), both have a heart for sharing Christ. A few years ago, they realized a need for an easy-to-read book answering some of the most common questions asked in Christian ministry and evangelism. After three years of hard work, Arnold and Jeff, a high school English teacher, released their book, “Short Answers to Big Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity,” in September.
The 368-page book answers 50 hard questions about Christianity in blog-length answers. The co-authors answer questions like “What does it mean to be in a relationship with Christ?” and “What will heaven be like or is hell a real place?” by providing Scripture-based and theologically sound answers in easy-to-understand language.
“Since we have been involved in Christian ministries for years, this seemed like it was just such a good thing to do,” said Arnold. “In the whole time we were involved in Christian ministries, we didn’t have anything like this. I was looking for something that was probably more like this, that covered the main doctrines, but in a really concise, clear, simple way.”
Arnold and Jeff’s hope for the book is that it will spark interest in those wanting to know more about Christianity and provide answers for those exploring the faith.
“This is the book you give to your unbelieving or newly-believing friend,” said Jeff. “Short Answers [the book] covers all the basics, including the kinds of basics that usually aren't covered, like tough questions and practical living.”
Scriptures are woven into the text for biblical accuracy in answering common questions about the Christian faith. J. l. Packer, considered one of the most influential evangelicals in North America, wrote the foreword for the book. A couple years prior to writing the book, Arnold and Packer had a conversation about the importance of training new Christians in solid theology. Packer’s encouragement for passing along the Christian faith to the next generation was one of the reasons Arnold asked Packer to write the foreword.
They wrote the book for anyone, non-Christians and Christians, that have questions about Christianity. According to Jeff, the book gives a rounded theology of the Bible to an audience searching for answers.
Arnold said the process of writing this book with his son was a humbling experience. Jeff explained that the two had a natural partnership since their skills complimented each other well.
“You know, it was surprisingly painless — even fun. I was a little nervous about how it might go; I mean, how do you tell the Dean of Talbot to fix his writing?” said Jeff. “He held my research and theological accuracy to a high standard while I was able to help him use words less than five syllables.”
Arnold and Jeff have various hopes for the purpose of the book. Each have a focus that they are particularly excited about for its release. The book relates to a broad audience, including Bible studies, a young Christian without Christian background, or someone that does not practice the Christian faith wishing to discover more about Christianity.
“It [the book] does convey a lot of my heart,” said Arnold. “It also conveys my passion for Talbot because what we’ve tried to do at Talbot is keep in balance good scholarship and a heart and passion for the local church and for ministry.”
In relation to his father’s heart for ministry, Jeff was most excited for the people that have an interest in learning more about Christianity.
“I run into so many people who have some level of interest in Christianity but have so many questions and don't know where to start,” said Jeff. “So that's been the most exciting part for me — now I have something tangible that I can give out anytime I run into someone asking questions about the faith.”
The book is available in most Christian bookstores and websites including but not limited to Amazon, Ebay, and Barnes and Noble.
Learn more about "Short Answers to Big Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity" here.
Written by Olivia Bersin, iBiola intern. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, media relations specialist, at (562) 777-4061 or email@example.com.
media [dot] relations [at] biola [dot] edu