Faith Is Like Skydiving: And Other Memorable Images for Dialogue with Seekers and Skeptics, By Rick Mattson

Faith Is Like Skydiving

And Other Memorable Images for Dialogue with Seekers and Skeptics

by Rick Mattson

Faith Is Like Skydiving
  • Length: 231 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: April 07, 2014
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 4411
  • ISBN: 9780830844111

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It can be hard to explain why you believe in God. But images and analogies can provide concrete handles for making the Christian faith more plausible.

If someone claims that Christians make a "blind leap of faith," you can respond, "No, it's not a blind leap. Faith is like skydiving. You check out your parachute beforehand and make sure it's secure. You follow the safety instructions. And then you jump. It's a leap, but it's not a blind leap. It's an informed leap."

Experienced evangelist and apologist Rick Mattson has collected dozens of easy-to-use images for explaining Christianity. God's amazing design of the world? It's like getting dealt a royal flush over and over again. Why is there evil and suffering in the world? Because it's a broken world, and things are not how they're supposed to be.

With practical tips on how to interact with your skeptical friends, this book provides a handy toolkit of memorable and instantly usable images for conversation. Find yourself better equipped to give an answer to anyone who asks you about your faith.

"Apologists sometimes deserve their reputation for focusing exclusively on data, evidence or arguments. These are essential to faith. But apologetics is both science and art. To the proper emphasis on reasons for faith—the science—we rightly add a stress on finding ways to apply spiritual truth in real life. This is about genuine communication in the context of authentic relationships—the art. To bring apologetics into the real world, you must use your imagination. Rick Mattson is a master of imagination. As you mull over his images, I hope you'll gain new insights. I bet you'll think of your own analogies. And best of all, I believe you'll feel empowered to enjoy apologetic dialogues in whole new ways."

David K. Clark, vice president and dean, Bethel Seminary, author, Dialogical Apologetics

"Accessible, clear and compelling. Rick has not only given us the reasons to believe but also the images and metaphors to make these arguments memorable and relatable. This book will not only bolster your own faith but give you the conversational tools to share your faith with others."

James Choung, national director of evangelism, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, author of True Story and Real Life

"The genius of this book is that Rick Mattson gives us metaphors like skydiving, a symphony orchestra and a royal flush to help us recall reasons for our hope. If you want to be a solid witness for Christ and walk beside skeptics and seekers with a greater sense of confidence, this book will serve you well."

JR Woodward, national director of church planting for V3, author of Creating a Missional Culture

"Faith Is Like Skydiving offers an inspiring guide to engaging people with real and relevant questions. This short work reads like a field book for talking with everyday people about everyday questions and objections to faith. Rick's down-to-earth and transparent writing is matched by the many encounters with real people he's been able to engage with where they are at. This book should be on every vocational Christian worker's short go-to list for resources on engaging people in the art of apologetics. This book should also be basic reading for everyday Christians who care about the people around them, who often have real questions and are open to real answers."

R. York Moore, national evangelist, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA

"Want to share about Jesus with skeptics with a tone of grace and truth? Read and practice this book. Rick knows his stuff. Reading this book is like going with Rick on a road trip to campus and getting trained by him on how to talk to atheists about faith. Rick's style is conversational, winsome, practical and confident. This book is full of tried-and-true material that will help you relax and communicate well. He simplifies the complex philosophical topics. He gives great pointers for you to practice. There is something for everyone in these pages."

Doug Schaupp, coauthor of I Once Was Lost, associate national director of evangelism for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

"Rick Mattson's apologetic images and analogies are hard to forget and easy to use. These images are so much more than just clever—they are thoughtful, subtle, flexible, humble, strong and biblical. And they are clearly born out of the clarifying furnace of Rick's real-life relationships and ministry. For decades Rick has invested in the lives of seekers and skeptics, and Faith Is Like Skydiving is not just a thoughtful, practical reflection on all he's learned—it's a gift to today's church."

Don Everts, author of Jesus with Dirty Feet, Go and Do and I Once Was Lost (with Doug Schaupp)  

"Faith Is Like Skydiving is a wonderfully practical how-to guide for aspiring apologists. Mattson covers a nice range of topics, offering creative analogies by which to communicate thoughtful answers to tough questions. Highly recommended!"

Paul Rhodes Eddy, professor of biblical theological studies, Bethel University

"Many books on apologetics do well with the arguments, but have little on how to present them. Faith Is Like Skydiving combines reason with rhetoric, clarity with intellectual depth. It provides a vast array of arguments and a host of images to make those arguments clear and compelling. Intellectually sound and amazingly practical, this terrific book deserves widespread reading."

James W. Sire, author of The Universe Next Door and Apologetics Beyond Reason

"[Mattson's] book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in strong analogies to explain difficult concepts in Christianity."

Church Libraries, Summer 2014




Part 1: Making Your Case
1. Faith Is Like Skydiving: Look Before You Leap!
2. Play Your Whole Orchestra: The Cumulative Case for Faith
3. How the World Came to Be: The Grand Designer
4. The World Is Like a Royal Flush: A Case for the Design of the Universe
Part 2: Responding to Tough Questions
5. Jesus as the Son of God: A Massive Conspiracy?
6. The Telephone Game: Why the Bible is Not full of Errors
7. Broken World and Other Images for the Problem of Suffering and Evil
8. Christians Behaving Badly: Don?t Blame the Hammer
9. Religions Are Like Books: Images for Discussing Religious Pluralism
10. Can Those Who've Never Heard of Jesus Be Saved?: The Homeless Person Analogy
11. Hell Is Like an Empty Pub
Part 3: Science and Faith
12. Elephant Traps and Other Images for Science and Faith
13. Miracles Are Like a Hole-in-One
Part 4: How-To?s
14. How to Talk with Skeptics: An Introduction
15. How to Talk with Modern Skeptics Who Believe in God
16. How to Talk with Modern Atheists
17. How to Talk with Postmodern Skeptics
Epilogue: A Word of Encouragement


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Rick Mattson

Rick Mattson is an apologetics specialist for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, where he has served as a staffworker for over thirty years. Based at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, he is a frequent speaker on college campuses across the country.