“Extensively researched and combining cogency of thought and clarity of expression, this book could well be given to friends who are open but unpersuaded that Jesus is the one way to eternal life.”

— Dennis Johnson, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Westminster Seminary California

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Combining the best of dozens of books under one cover, The Shortest Leap presents a concise and convincing summary of the main arguments supporting the truth of biblical Christianity.

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The Shortest Leap Answers…

  • How can I be sure I have eternal life?
  • Is the Bible consistent with the findings of cutting edge, secular science?
  • Was there really a man named Jesus, or is he just a myth?
  • And even if he did exist, aren’t the events of Jesus’ life and his teachings as described in the New Testament merely fabrications of the earliest Christians?
  • Does the historical evidence support the claim that Jesus rose from the dead?
  • To understand who Jesus really was, why shouldn’t we consider other documents outside the Bible, such as the Gnostic gospels?
  • Why were some documents excluded from the New Testament?
  • Did Jesus really claim to be God, or did the earliest Christians just want to believe that?
  • Is the Old Testament still relevant? Does it really point to Jesus hundreds to thousands of years before he lived?
  • How does the salvation by grace of Christianity differ from the salvation by works of all other religions?
  • Why can’t I just believe in the Jesus that I like the best?


All worldviews require a leap of faith, but not all leaps of faith are the same. A “one-stop shop” for the rational evidence for Christianity. The Shortest Leap presents the scientific, historical, biblical, and explanatory underpinnings of the Christian faith, demonstrating that faith in Jesus requires the shortest leap.

In addition to providing proactive evidence for Christianity, The Shortest Leap responds to the numerous shots fired at biblical Christianity by atheists, critics of Christianity, and other skeptics.

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A. L. van den Herik graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with a degree in Biological Sciences in 1990 and also earned an MBA from UC Berkeley in 1995 and was elected to membership in the Gamma Beta Sigma honor society.

The culmination of more than 20 years of research, The Shortest Leap is the book that van den Herik prays today’s atheistic students at Stanford (and elsewhere!) would be willing to read.

Van den Herik resides in San Diego, California.

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The main purpose of the book is to summarize the extensive evidence for God’s existence all in one place. God reveals Himself to His people through a plethora of scientific, historic, biblical, and explanatory evidence, but it is often drowned out by the busyness and noise of the world. The book puts this evidence, in an organized and succinct form, literally in your hands (unless you read the electronic version, of course!).

First and foremost, the person would have to be willing to hear the evidence. If you aren’t willing to read about it, you won’t like to read this book. The human will is a powerful thing! But God has the power to change it, and someone who isn’t willing to read the evidence for Jesus one day may be willing to do so the next. That happened to me, though it took more than twenty-five years before my will was changed.
I became a Christian when I was 29 years old, so for most of my life up to that point I believed Christianity was a fairy tale that people wanted to believe because it helped them deal with the difficulties of life. When I became a Christian, I started reading books that presented the evidence for Jesus, and I thought to myself, “Wow, there is so much evidence! Why isn’t it summarized in one single book?” That’s when I realized God may be calling me to be the one who would write this “one-stop shop” book. Over the last twenty years, I just kept plugging away at it, and praise be to God, it has come into existence!

This is a very difficult question! I really don’t have a favorite, but I must say that I love the chapters on the scientific evidence because I love science. Unfortunately, they may not be the favorites for those of you who don’t like science, but hey, you’ll get through it (I tried to make it as easy as possible to understand!). I also love the chapters on the evidence for the resurrection, and I often read those chapters on days when I am experiencing grief over the loss of a loved one. But if I had to choose ONE chapter, it would probably be the chapter that talks about the uniqueness of the Gospel, the good news that there is nothing we can do to make God love us more, and there is nothing we can do to make God love us less, that we are saved by sheer grace through the finished work of Jesus. It is such a beautiful message because it puts human pride to death and it lifts the brokenhearted (all of us), who otherwise would never be able to “earn” their way into God’s favor.

I am currently advertising all over the Internet, and I plan to put all proceeds into promoting and translating it. I currently have translators working to create localized versions in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Ukrainian. If you know of anyone who is a Christian, writes well in their native language (other than the ones listed above and English), and would be interested in translating, please contact me! And please join with me in praying that the book is spread far and wide, and that God uses it to open the eyes of those who formerly believed faith in Jesus is irrational.
Of course, God can cause anyone to have faith and to grow in their faith without evidence! But I have found in my life that the rational evidence has been like lighter fluid for the fire in my heart for the Lord. It has caused me to grow deeper in my own faith, and it has motivated me to share my faith with others. Moreover, Jesus commands us to worship him not just with all of our heart and soul, but also with all of our mind (Matthew 22:37). And more, the Bible instructs us to always be ready to answer–gently and respectfully–anyone who wants to know the reason for our faith (1 Peter 3:15).

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