A few weeks ago I received a book that caught my attention. When I read the title, When God Goes To Starbucks, I was immediately drawn to the book and greatly curious about its contents.
My first impression (gained mostly from the title itself) was that this book was going to be written in a narrative format. I imagined it containing the conversation(s) of two or more people sitting in a Starbucks discussing God and Christianity. I was expecting a book along the lines of Brian McLaren’s New Kind of Christian, which records the conversation of two Christians discussing their faith.
I was wrong. Author Paul Copan does not present his subject matter in a narrative format and there is no Starbucks in the book. Instead, what Copan gives us is something far more useful. When God Goes To Starbucks is a book that tackles the questions that Christians hear over and over again. It is a book that gives answers to the questions a person would likely have if they were in a deep conversation about God in a coffee shop.
Each chapter deals with a different question, which is why I believe that a narrative format would not have been as helpful. This book is meant to serve as a guide and reference to be turned to again and again when questions come up and we need answers. Copan does a great job of supplying straightforward and well-reasoned defenses of the Christian faith in relation to some of today’s most challenging questions. Here is a list of the questions or challenges Copan discusses:
- Why Not Just Look Out for Yourself?
- Do What You Want – Just as Long as You Don’t Hurt Anyone
- Is It Okay to Lie to Nazis?
- Why is God So Arrogant and Egotistical?
- Miracles are Unscientific
- Only Gullible People Believe in Miracles
- Don’t People From All Religions Experience God?
- Does the Bible Condemn Loving, Committed Homosexual Relationships?
- Aren’t People Born Gay?
- What’s Wrong with Gay Marriage?
- How Can the Psalmists Say Such Vindictive, Hateful Things?
- Aren’t the Bible’s “Holy Wars” Just Like Islamic Jihad? Part One
- Aren’t the Bible’s “Holy Wars” Just Like Islamic Jihad? Part Two
- Aren’t the Bible’s “Holy Wars” Just Like Islamic Jihad? Part Three
- Was Jesus Mistaken about an Early Second Coming? Part One
- Was Jesus Mistaken about an Early Second Coming? Part Two
- Why Are Christians So Divided? Why So Many Denominations?
When God Goes To Starbucks does not give us shallow answers, but instead substantive arguments for the validity of Christianity and a Christian worldview. This is a book that any Christian wanting to engage in the current conversation with our culture would do well to read and keep readily available to turn to again and again as questions arise.