Book Review: ALWAYS BE READY by Hugh Ross with Kathy Ross

Hugh Ross has been a controversial figure over the years, enduring strong criticism from both sides of the creation debate – from philosophical naturalists and young-earth creationists alike. It’s likely that most people would characterize Ross as a scientist. And that he is. Typically, his books are saturated with scientific detail and many, many pages dedicated to the citation of referenced publications.

This book is different.

Indeed, he could not resist including a summary of what he considers to be the most important scientific evidences of the Christian faith; however, most of the book is about a side of Hugh Ross that gets less public attention. He is, in fact, a pastor, and in Always Be Ready we learn how he has applied the rigor of the scientific method (not just scientific facts) to his evangelistic efforts.

Remarkable stories result.

We find that Ross is an evangelist who was never evangelized. Rather it was science that introduced him to his loving Creator, and it was the Christian Bible that stood out among the world’s other holy books to woo him towards a consummating commitment to Jesus Christ. In addition, he is a communicator who overcame communication challenges associated with autism. The stories that emerge are nothing short of miraculous and many of them qualify as full-fledged adventures.

If the following questions pique your interest, then you will want to check out this new narrative:

  • What happened when the president of a school’s Atheist Club converted to Christianity one-the-spot during a science apologetics presentation?
  • Can door-to-door visitation be successful?
  • Is it too late to share Christ with someone in a coma?
  • How can a church respond to the presence of an adult bookstore in the neighborhood?
  • What questions regularly invite meaningful and respectful dialogue?
  • What role does hospitality play in apologetics?

At this point, a warning is warranted. Something happens to the reader of this book. You read along effortlessly for a while…then you begin to get a bit uneasy. You start to question, “Why do I not have amazing encounters like this on a regular basis?”

Ross gives some very practical advice about how to improve your own ministry to those around you in a winsome way. Some of his ideas and approaches might be new to you, but by the end of the book you realize that he does many things that are not new at all.

He believes that God is already at work in the lives of those he encounters.
He welcomes questions from skeptics.
He joins together with other Christians.
He uses his strengths and learns from his weaknesses.
He fasts and prays.
He simply takes 1 Peter 3:15 seriously.

Read this book if you are a skeptic of Christianity who wants to better understand its attraction. Read it if you are a Christian who wants to be simultaneously encouraged and challenged.

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
1 Peter 3:15


Hugh Ross shares stories from his new book at Reason to Believe’s AMP Conference 2018…

Book Review: 4th edition of THE CREATOR AND THE COSMOS by Dr. Hugh Ross

The Creator and the Cosmos by Dr. Hugh Ross

Now available at reasons.org.

Terrorism. Tragedies. Fake news. Allegations. It’s time to avert your eyes from the anxiety-producing online commentary that drives you to distraction. Turn off your mobile. Sit back and wonder. Look at points of light in a dark, night sky. Was our universe – everything we see and know – inevitable? Is it by chance or by purpose that you consider this question? Reclaim control of your faculties, and contemplate your place in the cosmos.

A seven-year-old, budding astronomer named Hugh Ross looked to the night sky more than six decades ago and asked, “Are stars hot?” A prolonged pursuit for answers set him out on an academic quest, not only into space, but into the past and beyond. Dr. Ross’ newly released 4th edition of The Creator and the Cosmos is an ardent scientific defense of Big Bang cosmology and a call to consider its implications on a personal and spiritual level.

Like me, you may be surprised to learn that the Big Bang Theory requires a defense at this point. After all, it has not only been well vetted by the mainstream physics community, it has passed into the vernacular of popular culture via the title of a popular sit-com. Nevertheless, the most celebrated minds of science still endeavor to know exactly how our universe came to be, and they engage in vigorous debate to that end. After all, the how may imply a why.

The Big Bang is not just a tacit affirmation of “In the beginning…”; it is a theory that leads us to the possibility of a transcendent Creator via the scientific method rather than in spite of it. Its seemingly incontrovertible implications are both profound and unsettling to anyone who believes themselves to be well-ensconced within the fortress of philosophical naturalism. Once 20th-century scientists determined that the universe was inexorably expanding, they could then begin to retrace its early development. Ross reviews a litany of discoveries that permitted scientists to see further and further into the past with increasing clarity. Having retreated so far, they now find their backs up against a single point that defines the boundary of all that is known. Will they now turn and face that which is beyond? The realm that spawned a pluripotent singularity that differentiated into all the space, time, matter, and energy that we experience? A First Cause that set it all in motion?

Dr. Ross very effectively couples physics with Christian evangelism until, under the duress of the data, the intellectually honest skeptic must at least consider that something supernatural is afoot in the universe. This new iteration includes over 70 pages of new content, and the discussion questions at the end of each chapter invite readers to engage in intellectually and theologically rich discussions. Still have doubts at the end of the book? Check out the appendices and online compendium listing hundreds of finely tuned parameters for life. Or, alternatively, just proceed to 30 years’ worth of research compiled by Christian scholars at reasons.org.

Although this book specifically targets challenges to Big Bang cosmology, The Creator and the Cosmos offers abbreviated explanations on other related topics that receive further elaboration in Ross’ other works such as More Than a Theory, Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, Beyond the Cosmos, and Improbable Planet. Dr. Hugh Ross is both the consummate scientist and the consummate evangelist, uniquely qualified to address questions at the intersection of science and faith. If any of the following questions pique your interest, you will want to add these books and others offered through the ministry of Reasons to Believe (RTB) to your reading list:

  • How do we know that the universe is expanding?
  • Does the quantum eternity theorem offer a viable alternative to a cosmic beginning?
  • Why might atoms never have existed, and why must life be carbon-based?
  • Why does our solar system’s location in the galaxy matter?
  • How does a comparison of Earth’s extinction rate with its speciation rate support a Biblical view of creation and pose problems for the macroevolutionary paradigm?
  • Why is a 13.8-billion-year-old universe insufficiently old to support naturalistic origin-of-life scenarios?
  • Why was it advantageous for the Holy Spirit to come to believers after Christ ascended from Earth?

The book is written from an old-earth creation perspective that does not support macroevolution. It primarily addresses the concerns of skeptical scientists as well as scientifically literate laypeople within the church. Young-earth creationists may want to venture out and examine this book or other RTB reads in order to explore the robust scientific support for the old-earth position as well as its moorings to an inerrant interpretation of Scripture as affirmed by the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.

While the SETI Institute still awaits transmissions from intelligent life beyond Earth, the stars have been speaking all along. It is from their language of light that physicists continue to decipher the story of the universe and how it relates to life here on Earth. Tonight, resist the seductive siren call of your cellular device. Look to heavens and be reminded of their enduring and ancient declarations: There is a Creator of the cosmos, and he is the Creator of you.