Now, That’s A Good Question
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Reviewer: Discerning Reader Team
There exists a surprisingly popular series of books entitled Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. These books are a compendium of quotes, short stories, trivia and jokes that are each just a few lines or paragraphs in length. The book was designed to appeal to the bathroom reader – one who likes to read whilst he is sitting upon the throne, so to speak. I affectionately call Now, That’s A Good Question, R.C.’s Big Bathroom Reader. The cover features R.C. sitting (thankfully) in an armchair and displays one of the worst jobs of removing the background from a photo I have ever seen. His hair is cut in almost straight lines and looks completely unnatural on the cream-colored background. Actually, the cover looks like it may have been someone’s high school project. But I digress.
Now, That’s A Good Question is a wonderful book. The back cover poses the question, "If you had the opportunity to quiz one of today’s foremost theologians, what would you ask?" That is the thrust of this book. Through the 1980’s, R.C. hosted a radio program unimaginatively titled Ask R.C. and this book represents about 300 of the questions he faced. The questions are divided into 22 sections and the topics range from the Bible to salvation to the end times to heaven and hell. Here is a completely random list of some of the questions he answers:
- How can church members influence seminary education?
- What should we conclude about the polygamy practiced by Old Testament heroes?
- When we experience trials, how can we determine if they are the consequences of violating a scriptural principle, a test from the Lord, or an attack from Satan?
- Are there certain ethical standards the government should uphold on a biblical basis?
- Why did Jesus say some people wouldn’t die before he came back?
- What is existentialism, and how should I respond to it?
- Is it proper to say "if this be your will" when we pray?
- If someone wanted to read three Christian books this year, which three would you most recommend?
- Does the Bible tell us what heaven will be like?
Each answer is only a few paragraphs in length and more often than not provides a satisfactory answer to the question that was posed. There are a few of them where I wish he would give a more definitive answer, but on the whole he takes a stand and backs it up with proof from Scripture. The questions represent his views in the mid 1980’s and I’m sure some would have changed slightly by this time, but there were very few that I disagreed with. The majority are handled with Scripture and with grace. If you had the opportunity to ask one of today’s foremost theologians a question, there is a good chance you would find the answer in this book.
I found this an excellent book and it is one that I return to often. R.C.’s Big Bathroom Reader is a great resource and one you would do well to include in your library (or bathroom).