We live in a world of lies, a world in which the truth is so often obscured behind deception and made opaque behind falsehood. Though God is a God of truth, the enemy is a liar who will say anything to lead people astray, a deceiver who will stop at nothing to turn people away from the Lord. Though nobody wants to be taken in by lies, so many fall prey.
Mack Stiles’ The Truth About Lies is a book about that very thing. It’s about the overarching lie that Jesus is irrelevant to the world today and to those who live within it—especially those who consider themselves far too developed and far too sophisticated for religion. And it’s about a number of other lies that exist within the big one. Written primarily for those who have heard of Jesus but not yet believed in him, it’s meant to be a brief, friendly tool for evangelism. It makes use of stories from the life of Jesus to persuade people to set aside lies in favor of the truth. “I am trying to change your mind,” Stiles begins.
Perhaps you knew that when you picked up this book. But I want to be completely transparent.
There’s a sea of subliminal messages out there, all created by artificial intelligence in back rooms of tech companies designed to keep you unaware of their persuasions. It’s the deal we make and, for the most part, we’re okay with it. It’s fine when it comes to clicking on a video or buying some shampoo, but it’s not how we should treat the big questions in life.
And I am trying to persuade you about something far more significant than soap. I want to persuade you that Jesus is who he said he was and that he has enormous relevance to your life.
That’s this book in a nutshell.
Jesus is relevant.
The first lie is, “I don’t matter to God.” He turns to the story of a woman who touched Jesus and was healed of her long illness to illustrate that Jesus cares. Though this woman could have been just another face in the crowd, Jesus loved her, cared for her, and gave her the attention she needed. She mattered to God.
In the second chapter, he looks at the lie that “being good is good enough.” This time he looks to Nicodemus to show that our problem with sin is too deep to be fixed by our attempts to be good and moral or to right our many wrongs. Rather, we need a solution that comes from outside ourselves, a grace that is given to us.
From here he looks at the lies that Jesus is merely an inspiration, that each of us needs to look out for number one, that we can all have our own truths, that death is the end, that everybody goes to heaven, and that it is impossible for us to change. In every case, he debunks the lie by showing how Jesus lived and explaining what Jesus taught. The book culminates, as you would expect, with a call to believe in Jesus and to turn to him in repentance and faith.
The Truth About Lies is written in just the right tone and comes in at just the right size to be effective in persuading skeptics to read it. It helpfully counters lies with truth and earnestly calls people to respond. It’s my hope and conviction that it will prove a useful resource for evangelism. I commend it to you for that purpose.