Surviving Religion 101 by Michael J. Kruger–Book Review

This book is subtitled: Letters to a Christian Student on Keeping the Faith in College, and it is presented as a series of letters on different topics to the author’s daughter. It fits into a category of theological work known as apologetics: the discipline of defending religious doctrine(consider this your word for the day). At college, young people who are raised in the faith may hear views that not only diverge sharply from what they’ve been taught but may even ridicule and demean it. In such an environment, it’s important to understand not only what we believe, but why we find it trustworthy.

These are some of the topics the author discusses:

*How can I say that Christianity is the only right religion?

*My Christian morality is seen as intolerant — shouldn’t I be more accepting?

*Why would a living God send anyone to Hell?

*If God is omnipotent why does He allow suffering?

*How can I believe in miracles if I’ve never seen them?

*Can the Bible really be trusted?

Surviving Religion 101

Each question is approached in a clear, conversational manner that makes this book easy to read and understand. Although intended for students, every Christian could benefit from knowing how to respond the criticism we hear every day. Kruger’s defense of the faith is logical and informed. I highly recommend it!


The Lutheran Ladies received a free e-copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CPR 255.

If you would like to purchase this book go to:

Surviving Religion 101: Letters to a Christian Student on Keeping the Faith in College | Crossway

For more about apologetics see:

Why I Still Believe by Mary Jo Sharp –Book Review

Film Review — The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel

God’s Not Dead & God’s Not Dead 2 –Movie Review

God’s Not Dead & God’s Not Dead 2 –Movie Review

Martin Luther would have empathized with these film depictions of Christians who  found themselves in situations that required them to defend their faith against great odds.  You might say they became leaders unintentionally, as did Luther himself.  Facing the Diet of Worms in 1521 he said,

“Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason, I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other.  My conscience is captive to the Word of God.  I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.  Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise.  God help me.”

Both films feature a main character who risks virtually everything to defend his or her Christian beliefs.  Both are vindicated and triumph over systems that seek to ridicule and belittle them. Both had very good presentations of the logical, scientific and historical reasons to accept Christianity (the big word for this is apologetics.)  I found them inspiring and entertaining. (Of course, I know I am years behind in my movie-viewing and probably most readers have already seen the films — if you haven’t, you can now easily get them from the local library).

I do have a few criticisms:  most of the characters were almost cartoonishly one dimensional — the Christians are obviously good, the atheists bad, and not much room in between for the doubting or seeking.  Conversions and answers to prayer come quickly….but this is a movie, right?  Things have to move rapidly (after all we only have 120 minutes) and I can’t expect the character development I might find in a good novel.  So I can let that go.

More seriously, the discussion of free will in the first film, and the implication in the second that we must “ask Jesus into our heart” conflict with Lutheran theology.  God choses us, we do not chose Him, and we do not have free will over our salvation (although we do in other areas.)

The Newsboys are not my favorite Christian musical group, but I’ll include the song for those who enjoy them: