Get Informed and Instructed on Truth (Book Review)

Petiprin, Andrew. Truth Matters: Knowing God and Yourself. New Growth Press, Greensboro, NC. 2018. 160 pages.

Relative and irrelevant. That is how much of the culture views truth. Truth is no longer viewed as authoritative or absolute. Where tolerance is viewed as king, the ultimate reality of truth no longer matters. It is precisely in this context we need an instructive word on what truth is and why it matters. We find it in Truth Matters: Know God and Yourself by Andrew Petiprin.

Truth for Today

Taken from sermons and various teachings, Truth Matters teaches the truth of the Christian faith and the importance of the Christian faith for today. The book is informed by church history and instructive by showing truth is not merely a private matter but a public marker. Using creeds and statements like the Apostles’ Creed, Petiprin observes foundational doctrines of the Gospel in God, the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, salvation, and the return of Christ as they are found in Scripture. Along the way, he highlights why such doctrines matter. He makes the case truth is not relative but is based on the revelation of God’s Word and is relevant for real life.

Andrew Petiprin does an exceptional job of showing Christians and non-Christians alike the relevancy of knowing truth and why truth matters. He opens the book by sharing his own pursuit for the knowledge of truth. To properly understand truth, Petiprin correctly asserts, “theology always precedes anthropology” (Petiprin 25). The structure of the book backs up this claim, reflecting its subtitle, to first know God and then to know ourselves. In other words, we can only rightly understand and know ourselves once we rightly understand and know God. From its substance to its structure, Truth Matters is a book on showing why knowing God matters for today.

What? about the What

While the strength of the book may be in answering why such doctrines and truths matter for today, the book does have its moments where what specific doctrines and truths matter are in view is not clear. The author does admit this resource is meant to be more ecumenical than some but he is less than clear about distinctions when it comes to speaking about Protestants and Catholics. This begins in chapter 1 as the author encourages Protestants along with Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians to examine their faith more closely (Petiprin 8). In chapters 6 and 7, the book examines the topic of salvation and grace, with the biblical truth laid out. Yet, there is not an elaborate explanation on how this biblical position Protestants hold to differs from a Catholic view. The same issue with baptism comes up in chapters 2 and 5. Based on the overall content of the book, I believe I am in agreement with the author’s doctrinal stance for the most part, but there are areas where he is unclear and leaves the reader either wondering or wanting.

Informative and Instructive

For skeptics inquiring about the Christian faith and intrigued about church history, this book may be a good fit. For newer Christians, this book can be a valuable resource to be discussed in community with Christians more informed on the creeds and matters of the Christian faith. Criticisms and qualifiers aside, if you are a Christian who wants to better be informed on how church history has handled the truth and instructed on why the truth matters for today, consider purchasing Truth Matters: Knowing God and Yourself by Andrew Petiprin.

I received this book from New Growth Press in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.

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