Monday, February 6, 2012

Review: Four Letter Words

I'm a forty-something Christian who got saved in high school.  I am totally committed to Jesus Christ.  But-  I'm a regular mom.  No Bible school experience.  No super Bible scholarship.  I just read my Bible, pray, go to church, shout a few amens, and trust God to teach me by His Holy Spirit with His word.  This book was amazing to me.  I felt like I'd gone through a college course.  It explained terms I'd heard thrown around like modernism, post-modernism, animism.  The author explained things in clear terms that I'd understood. 

Each chapter is just a few pages long and is formatted in the same way:

A quote
Touchy Ideas
Touchy Scriptures
Teaching on the chapter's subject
Talking Points

The touchy ideas and scriptures are ones that may make Christians as well as unbelievers uncomfortable.  The teaching is intended to give the reader an understanding of the subject.  The talking points give practical suggestions on how to talk to friends about the subject.  If you're interested in apologetics at all, I suggest this book as a jumping off point.  It's a great overview.  There are lots of resources to enhance your reading experience and to help you with your Christian growth at

"Four Letter Words is one of the first QR Enabled books published for the Christian market. QR, which stands for Quick Response, allows a fully interactive reading experience. Readers can access additional resources, video, audio, or websites by scanning the QR code with their smartphones (first install a free QR app, like Red Laser [tm])." ~ Bill Giovannetti

About Four Letter Words:

Thou shalt tolerate every opinion... except the Christian's. Today's postmodern "prime directive" leaves many followers of Jesus tongue-tied. In the global village, isn't it unreasonable, and even dangerous, to suggest that the Bible has a monopoly on truth?
The church needs a new breed of Christ-follower. We need Christ-followers who are alert to today's touchy ideas, the truths that fire up more heat than light. We need Christ-followers who can make a clear case for the Bible's worldview; who are ready to help our friends think through their beliefs; who can recognize inconsistencies and challenge them; and who can do all of this with humility, confidence, humor, and love. For more information visit
Dr. Bill Giovannetti is a professor at A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary and the senior pastor of Neighborhood Church of Redding. An experienced speaker and author, Bill informs the mind in ways that touch the heart. He enjoys life with his wife and two kids in northern California. For more information about Bill and his other books, visit and

Bill Giovannetti serves on the faculty of A.W. Tozer Seminary and is the Senior Pastor of Neighborhood Church of Redding. Four Letter Words is his second book. He has written numerous articles and is a popular speaker. Bill hates legalism, loves grace, and teaches that God is infinitely more committed to us than we will ever be to him. He is a graduate of Trinity Seminary and earned his doctorate at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Here's a excerpt from an interview with the author:

What's Four Letter Words about, and where did you get the title?

Four Letter Words is about defending your faith in Christ. If you've ever felt tongue-tied standing up for Jesus, this book can help.

Even though our culture claims tolerance as a virtue, that tolerance stops at Christianity's front door: witness the hostility directed toward a sincere Christ-follower like Tim Tebow. Judging by reactions to him, you'd think he just cussed out his grandma when all he did was say a word for Christ. Speaking God's truth and living your faith is quickly becoming today's profanity. Tougher days are coming; we need to get ready.

There has never been a truth-system more satisfying, consistent, logical and beautiful than Christianity. I wanted to help God's people rise up and say so.

What four letter words do you write about?

True: who says your truth has to be my truth too? Know: how do you know God is real? Pain, Evil, and Ouch: why doesn't God stop the bad stuff? Damn: how can a loving God send people to hell? Word: What makes the Bible so special? Wait: isn't it unreasonable to expect today's people to live by biblical standards of sexuality? Hope: what good has Christianity done in the world?

The book has ten chapters, discussion questions (in the book and downloadable from the website), and 208 pages.

Did you ever struggle with your faith? How did you work through that?

Even though I've been a pastor for a long time, I struggle with my faith a lot. My earliest struggles – back in high school days – centered on scientific stuff, like evolution. In the book I tell the story of how I made peace with faith in a Creator God and how I fit together science, logic, and the gospel in my own heart.

Now that I'm a bit older, my struggles come more out of pain and suffering. Why does God let people hurt? I cover those topics too.

Struggles are normal – we just can't let them overwhelm our faith or uproot our joy. It's super-important for us to know every question raised against Christianity has an answer. I try to provide some of those answers along with simple talking points for everyday conversations.

Who is this book for?

This book is for anyone who either struggles with faith or who wants to help friends who struggle with faith. I wrote to strengthen faith and equip believers to share faith. Our church has used this book with high school students, young adults, and senior citizens—it's been really well received across all age groups. Other churches are using it in small groups and youth groups.

I would love to see this book in the hands of every high school graduate and new college student: they need to be inoculated from the anti-Christian venom they're going to experience.

Toward the end, Four Letter Words invites readers to faith in Christ so it can be resource for evangelism too.

Discussion questions are included.

I received this book for free from LitFuse in exchange for an honest review.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. I would absolutely love to own this book. Thank you for a great giveaway =)

  2. This sounds like an amazing book! I hadn't heard of it - but now it's going on my wish-list!

  3. Great giveaway! Thanks so much for the chance!

  4. I like Bill on FB- Sandy VanHoey
    sandy1955 at comcast dot net

  5. I am getting this message when I try to sign up fGoogle Docs has encountered a server error. If reloading the page doesn't help, please contact us.

    We're sorry, a server error occurred. Please wait a bit and try reloading your spreadsheet.
    To discuss this or other issues, visit the Google Docs Help forum. To see the list of known problems, check the Google Docs Known Issues page.

    Sorry, and thanks for your help!
    - The Google Docs Teamor newsletter from Bill:
    sandy1955 at comcast dot net

  6. I would so love to have this book! My son is a college freshman and has struggled to fit in surrounded by dorm mates who drink alcohol and he has struggled to keep attending church and not try to "fit in" with non believers.

  7. sounds like a great book! I am always thirsty for new inspirational books!