A Good and True Story – Paul M. Gould

Good and True Story by Paul M. Gould
Published by Brazos Press on November 15, 2022
Genres: Non-Fiction, Apologetics
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Young adults today want authentic answers to their soul-deep questions about God. They want meaningful ways to communicate those answers to others. Most of all, they want to know that they are living a life that matters.

In A Good and True Story, philosopher,apologist, and international speaker Paul Gould leads readers on an engaging journey through eleven clues that suggest Christianity is not only true but satisfies our deepest longings. This creative foray into the foundations of Christian truth explores the universe, morality, happiness, pain, beauty, and more for readers looking for culturally informed apologetics.

Ideal for college-age and twentysomething readers, small group leaders, and anyone interested in the intersection of faith, philosophy, and culture, A Good and True Story reminds readers that their search for identity and purpose is a gift from a loving and purposeful God.

The thesis of Paul M. Gould’s A Good and True Story is really quite simple: “Our identity is wrapped up with the story of our lives: the story we tell, the story we live in.” In other words, Life is Story. Gould then explores that concept using eleven “clues” to understanding the universe and our place in it. These clues move in a somewhat linear progression. Gould begins with The Universe—or really, existence itself. Here, he relies on the classic apologetic arguments. Anything that begins to exist has a cause. Design requires a designer. Then, he moves to life, again quickly making the case that the existence of something so complex as life requires a designer.

A Good and True Story continues to be more specific as it discusses humanity, morality, meaning, happiness, pain, love, beauty, and then finally, religion. The book can get a bit academic at times. Gould is a philosopher by trade. PhD from Purdue. Director of the philosophy of religion program at Palm Beach Atlantic University. But Gould also understand how to make that philosophy accessible and relatable. It’s an engaging work that doesn’t necessarily break new ground in apologetics but breathes new life into what has been said many times before.

Throughout the book, Gould contrasts two narratives, two stories. One is the nonreligious storyline. It is the story of life without God. The other is the religious story, the story of life with God. In each of the chapters, A Good and True Story offers readers a consideration and contrast. Does the story that claims the nonexistence of God lead to what is true and good? Gould does not believe so.

The key to this book is its accessibility and engagement. While Gould writes like a philosopher, he writes with an awareness that his audience is not. While the book does get deep into some subjects, there’s always an accessible explanation. Pop culture references abound—Gould is also the author of a book called Cultural Apologetics—is you can tell that a lot of work has been done to find the balance in challenging the reader without either dumbing it down too much or making it uninteresting for the layperson. Overall, A Good and True Story offers a compelling framework that guides readers toward belief in God.