Peter Kazmaier’s first book was a gripping novel, The Halcyon Disclocation, that combined science fiction and fantasy with a bit of religion and philosophy thrown in. I believe I referred to this book as Lewis-esque in my review a few months back. When I saw that Peter was releasing another book, I thought it would be the sequel. At first I was a bit disappointed, until I realized the sort of book it was.
One reason someone like CS Lewis was so successful as a Christian apologist was because he wrote great novels as well as good reflections on Christian life, theology and apologetics. Lewis was no dry academic. Kazmaier is the same way. He is clearly a smart guy, having been a professor of chemistry for much of his life. His thoughts on science and faith specifically, and Christian apologetics in general, are helpful. But what works best is that he places his apologetic reflections into the Halcyon universe.
Questioning Your Way to Faith takes place prior to The Halcyon Dislocation. It is an extended discussion between two characters in the later book, Al and Floyd. Al is supposedly a “nerdy” Christian but he hikes, sails and goes fishing a lot for a stereotypical nerd. Floyd is Al’s friend and an atheist. But Floyd is having a crisis of faith (or non-faith) as he discovered his recently deceased grandmother was, despite her intelligence, a Christian. Floyd approaches Al to ask how smart people can be Christians. From then on their discussion covers a lot of typical apologetic topics – problem of evil, existence of god, science and faith.
The best value in this book is its real-life setting. Many apologetic books I have read are interesting…to people who read apologetics books. But when you actually talk to people in the real world, the text book answer is not always sufficient. People don’t always need or want a point-by-point case for Christianity. Like Floyd, people have specific questions which require specific answers. Sometimes these answers may line up with the standard apologetics book, but not always. The real world, as Al and Floyd discover in their adventures in Halcyon, is a topsy-turvy place!
Overall, I recommend this book for all people interested in the big questions of life. We need more writers like Peter who can give us both good stories as well as profound theological and philosophical insights.