Russ Whitten, pastor of Destin Church of Christ since 2012, has released his first book, “Have You Ever Wondered?,” which has been 20 years in the making.

The book is designed to help people discover answers to their questions about the Christian faith.

“This book is my attempt to explore the big questions of life that we all wrestle with and, specifically, the true claims of Christianity,” Whitten told The Log. “This book is for anyone who seeks concise, contemporary, easy-to-grasp, Biblically grounded responses to the biggest questions about God, His word and His Son.”

Working with his wife in campus ministry for more than 16 years allowed Whitten to observe that most Christian high school graduates were not adequately prepared to handle questions about their faith when they reached college.

“Their faith was attacked on all sides by fellow students and professors alike,” Whitten said. “Alison Thomas, who is now a lecturer for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries recalls, ‘I almost abandoned my faith in college because I was not sure if the difficult questions people asked me about Christianity had satisfying answers.’ ”

The book was at first written with these college students in mind, but soon changed into something helpful for all adults.

“I have discovered that people are eager for concise, logical, accessible and relevant answers to the difficult questions they hear and they themselves struggle with about the Christian faith," Whitten said. "It is my hope that this book will also be a helpful resource to share and discuss with non-Christian friends who are examining Christianity.”

In “Have You Ever Wondered?” Whitten deals with such topics as the meaning of life, how the universe began, does God really exist, why is there suffering and evil, who is Jesus and more.

“The final two chapters of this book deal with, in my opinion, the most compelling evidence for the truthfulness, relevance and attractiveness of the Christian faith: the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Whitten said. “One of the greatest strengths about the Christian faith is that it is a religion deeply embedded in well-documented history.”

And one of those historical events that has been investigated, verified and documented is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians can be assured that the Bible’s claims that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, existed, was crucified on the cross and rose from the dead are truths, Whitten said.

"Two thousand years of attempts by critics to account for the known historical facts surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection by rival theories have failed," Whitten said. 

Whitten graduated from Auburn University, earned a masters at Lipscomb University, and later studied apologetics at Oxford University. He has been involved in mission work in India, Ghana, Mexico, Ukraine and England. He is also a contributing writer to the Faith page of The Destin Log with his column Have You Wondered?

Whitten will be signing books from 10 a.m. to noon July 24 at Sundog Books in Seaside. Beginning Sunday, Sept. 3, he will present a 12-week lesson series, "The Top 12 Questions Locals Asked about the Christian Faith." To submit a question, email russwhitten@gmail.com.   

"Have You Ever Wondered?" is now available at amazon.com and www.21stcc.com.