The Truth Is: Sharing The Truth of Jesus with Confidence, Conviction, and Compassion is the latest book by Steven Kozak, Executive Director of Awana Youth Ministries and a fellow alum of the Christian Apologetics program at Biola University. He oversaw the creation of the fantastic Advocates apologetics curriculum and the forthcoming evangelism-focused Witnesses. Steve obviously has a passion for apologetics and bringing truth to the next generation, all of which has culminated in this book.
The Truth Is addresses the full spectrum of Christian apologetics: why apologetics is necessary; doubt; worldviews and truth; faith, reason, and science; the case for a creator; evil and suffering; the reliability of the New Testament; and the resurrection of Jesus. Steve covers a lot of ground in each chapter, referencing top scholars, common objections, and current pop culture trends.
But The Truth Is is not simply an informational book. The entire focus is evangelism. Steve includes a Conversation Starter at the end of each chapter intended to stimulate a discussion with the unbeliever you are engaging or the student you are discipling. And the final chapter is a guide to having spiritual conversations. In a nutshell: build relationships, discover the person’s worldview, find common ground, share the Gospel, repeat. Like Jesus commissioned, the goal of Christianity is to make disciples. That’s the goal of this book as well.
Steve’s background in youth ministry is showcased in the book’s two appendices. The first is “How To Make Apologetics Part of Youth Ministry DNA.” I agree wholeheartedly with his thesis that apologetics cannot merely be a component of a church but must be integrated entirely into it. People will always have doubts and questions and so the church must create a culture of openness to these questions and to answer them gracefully and biblically. The second appendix is “What Is Generation Z Asking?” I thought I was getting a handle on the concerns and habits of the Millennial generation, but now we are already on to the next: Gen Z. Each generation has its own unique set of questions and issues of which we must be aware and prepared to respond. Gen Z is no different, and Steve outlines what he thinks are the next generation’s greatest issues.
The Truth Is is a great resource for leaders to practically integrate apologetics into their ministries as well as a resource to teach various apologetics topics. While it is best studied in sequence, as each chapter logically follows the next, they are also self-contained so you are free to skip to your topic of interest. The Truth Is by Steven Kozac is a great, solid starting point for a practical introduction to apologetics and evangelism. Ministry leaders and students would greatly benefit from this resource.