A decade in the writing, Dean Davis’ The Test: A Seeker's Journey to the Meaning of Life is an exhilarating spiritual journey and a true intellectual feast.
In essence, this book is a systematic exposition and defense of the biblical worldview. Keenly aware of the growing skepticism of postmodern man, Davis reaches out compassionately to seekers of every kind, endeavoring to rekindle their desire for spiritual and religious truth, and also to assure them that it can indeed be found. The result is a book that will strengthen the faith of believers, even as it challenges seekers and skeptics alike with beauty, power, and reasonableness of the biblical worldview.
This work is complex and ambitious, yet highly readable. Careful not to assume any prior knowledge of Christianity, Davis meets his reader at “base camp” and invites them to take a logical, step-by-step journey through all sorts of fascinating intellectual terrain: philosophy, apologetics, theology, and comparative religion.
A brief overview may incline you to join him.
Part One (Life: A Mess or a Test?) is philosophical. Here, Davis skillfully shows that man, by his very nature, both desires and is equipped for a pursuit of spiritual truth. He concludes that that our life is indeed a test set before us by an "Unknown God," and that the deepest meaning of life is to pass it!
Part Two (In Search of the Teacher) is devoted to Apologetics. Davis' goal here is two-fold. On the one hand, he explains why nature, conscience, science, philosophy, and mysticism cannot provide trustworthy answers to life's ultimate questions. On the other, he shows that the Unknown God has graciously supplied those answers through his two appointed Teachers—Christ and the Bible. He also shows how God has blessed us with an astonishingly diverse and powerful body of evidence to prove that those Teachers are the real deal!
In Part Three (The Teacher on the Questions of Life) Davis seats his reader at the feet of Christ to ponder his answers to the nine great questions of life, questions that provide the proper framework for any viable worldview. In presenting us with Jesus’ answers to these questions, Davis does not ignore common objections, but tackles them head on, illustrating the profound reasonableness of the biblical worldview.
In Part Four (The Teacher on the Test) the author brings the journey to its climax, asking if Christ did indeed view life as a test, and If so, how can we pass it. This section also includes the hair-raising story of Davis' own arduous search for spiritual truth, a story that should much encourage struggling seekers everywhere, especially those involved in Eastern Religiions.
Recognizing the challenges of this ambitious a journey, Davis has gone to great lengths to ease the way. In particular, he has lavishly supplemented the text with charts, tables, diagrams, memorable anecdotes, creative illustrations, relevant quotes, extensive endnotes, and a rich bibliography.
It is clear that The Test is Dean Davis' magnum opus, his best effort to distill years of study and ministry into a winsome, respectful, God-honoring exposition and defense of the biblical worldview. I would encourage all who read this review to take The Test . . . and to pass it along!
For more information contact Dean Davis at: firstname.lastname@example.org