Signs’ Norwegian book wrestles with God questions

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A new book translated from Norwegian and published by Signs Publishing responds to the common atheists’ critiques of faith, particularly to questions about what God is like.

According to author Pastor Harald Giesebrecht, God? Really? Good News About the God I Don’t Believe In was sparked when he spent time researching the work of the “New Atheists”—prominent authors including Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens—for a series of meeting for university students.

“I realised eventually that the number-one obstacle for believing in God today is not scientism, but Christianity’s own portrayal of God,” explains Pastor Giesebrecht, who currently serves as Director of Children’s and Family Ministries for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Norway. “Having grown up with Ellen White’s ‘Conflict of the Ages’ series, it is deeply ingrained in me that the greatest cosmic question of all times is whether God is love or not. How is God’s love compatible with His apparent violence? Is it possible to love one who threatens you with extinction if you don’t love Him? And I realised that Jesus Himself tried to address these questions.”

Pastor Giesebrecht urges that we do not need to be afraid of the questions posed by these voices, but should respond to their questions—and that Adventist beliefs offer some important insights to these conversations.

“Dawkins raises important questions that we should take seriously,” he says. “For example, his conviction that the God of the Bible is of such a nature that any sane being must hope He does not exist, is shared by so many that we can no longer ignore it.”

Pastor Harald Giesebrecht.

God? Really? was first published by the Adventist publishing house in Norway as Ærlig talt, Gud!—literally, “Honestly, God!”—and was translated into English with the assistance of a Norwegian government program to promote original Norwegian publishing internationally.

In the past few years, Norsk Bokforlag has translated and published five books from Signs Publishing, including Food As Medicine, Keeping Connection and Why I Try to Believe.

Pastor Giesebrecht says he has received many positive responses to his book and is pleased to be able to share God? Really? with English-speaking readers.

“I wrote this book because I myself needed to explore these topics,” he says. “I wrote it also to help my friends in my local church who struggled with the same questions. And I wrote it to people everywhere who want to believe in the God of the Bible, but who have questions about His actions and character.”

God? Really? Good News About the God I Don’t Believe Inis available from Adventist bookshops in Australia and New Zealand or online.