Some great books on Apologetics and an encouragement to begin in Apologetics

Over the years I have read numerous books on apologetics by many different authors. I put together a list of my favorites.

There are many that I am not listing that are just as good as these listed, but for simplicity sake I will keep it to around 50.

Some of these can be obtained by going to http://www.alibris.com/ you will pay much less and I’ve been very fortunate to get good quality books in great condition. There is a great deal of reading here, much of which I should read again. Some of these are introductory, others are more advanced and some will need a good hot coffee and an alert mind.

Please take advantage of the tremendous information to be found in these books. Some of my favorite authors…

Alister Mcgrath, Cornelius Van Til, William Lane Craig, Ronald Nash and Nancy Pearcey to name a few.

I encourage you to begin discussing ways to start an apologetics class or group in your church, grab one of these great books, read it and invite others to learn how to defend the faith.

I attempt ( by God’s great grace) to defend the faith on 5 fronts. Theologically, Philosophically, Historically, Logically and experientially. Begin with one of these areas and learn how to confront error and defeat it, then make way for the gospel message which alone is the power of God unto salvation.

Be solid bible student first, learn your theology first, obtain a coherent and well understood systematic theology. I am reformed so its easy to stay within the confines of solid biblical orthodoxy. Then branch out, begin to learn how to think, reason, learn the rules of logic. Develop an understanding of philosophical ideas so that you can recognize them and know how to confront various philosophies. Add to your knowledge Church history and familiarize yourself with the Church Fathers. Know what the Reformation was about and what it did in the world. Lastly recognize and acknowledge the work of God in you own life, take note of God’s gracious dealings with you and extend to others the kindness and grace He has extended to you through Christ. Spend considerable time in prayer and intercessions, be bold in prayer, be bold to believe and seek God for answers. Even though I have not listed them, I have many books on the subject of prayer, intercessions, God’s promises and encouragements to pray and intercede for others.

Take advantage of the tremendous sermons on apologetics on YouTube featuring Ravi Zacharias and William Lane Craig.

Put away the childish and immaturish ideas that are common in American Cultural Christianity today, learn what it means to judge righteous judgment, to be discerning without being condemning, learn how to confront without being mean spirited or even rejected and abused without taking offense and becoming carnal. Be that 1 in a thousand Christian who dives in deeper to know and enjoy Jesus Christ, and that 1 in 10,000 Christians who knows his bible backwards and forwards and yet knows his complete dependence is upon the Holy Spirit to bring fruit from what is said and done.

Put away time wasting sloth, put away filling your mind with the numbing and dumbing-down droll from TV and video games. Invest in God’s word, invest in God’s kingdom, spend your life burning brightly for a worthy master and loving Lord Jesus Christ.

Read on and enjoy.

1. Mere Apologetics by Alister Mcgrath

2. Philosophical foundations for a Christian worldview William Lane Craig; J.P Moreland

3. Backgrounds of Early Christianity Everett Ferguson

4. History of the Reformation 16th century J.L Merle D’Aubigne

5. Christian Apologetics Norman Geisler

6. On Guard William Lane Craig

7. Evidence and Truth Foundations for Christian Truth Robert J. Morgan

8. Pensee’s Blaise Pascal

9. How shall we then live? Francis A. Schaeffer

10. Total Truth Nance Pearcey

11. Fool’s gold John Macarthur

12. Religions of the Roman Empire John Ferguson

13. I don’t have enough faith to be an Atheist Normal Geisler and Frank Turek

14. Biblical Basis for Modern Science Henry Morris

15. Reasonable Faith William Lane Craig

16. End of Reason Ravi Zacharias

17. Classical Apologetics R.C Sproul John Gerstner

18. Scandal of the Evangelical mind Mark A. Noll

19. Think John Piper

20. The last Christian on earth Os Guiness

21. Creation in Six days James B. Jordan

22. World views in Conflict Ronald H. Nash

23. Faith and Reason searching for a reasonable faith Ronald H. Nash

24. The Case for Christ Lee Strobel

25. Relativism Greg Koukl and Francis beckwith

26. Christian Apologetics J.K.S Reid

27. That’s just your interpretation Paul Copan

28. The book of Beginnings Henry Morris III

29. The kingdom of the Cults Walter Martin

30. The kingdom of the Occult Walter Martin

31. The God who is there Francis A. Schaeffer

32. Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design Jonathan Wells

33. What’s so great about Christianity? Dinesh D’Souza

34. Apologetics for the 21st century Louis Markos

35. Dismantling Evolution Ralph O. Muncaster

36. Christless Christianity Michael Horton

37. No Other God John Frame

38. Intelligent Design William Dembski

39. Mere Christianity C.S Lewis

40. Van Til’s Apologetic Greg Bahnsen

41.  Atheist Delusions Phil Fernandes

42.  Christianity’s dangerous idea Alister Mcgrath

43. Deliver us from Evil Ravi Zacharias

44. Balanced Apologetics Ronald Mayers

45. Varieties of Christian apologetics Bernard Ramm

46. Beyond Opinion Ravi Zacharias

47. True Spirituality Francis Schaeffer

48. New Testament Documents F.F. Bruce

49. Jerusalem and Athens Critical discussions on the philosophy and apologetics of Cornelius Van Til E. R. Geehan

50. The Defense of the faith Cornelius Van Til

Advertisements

Save the Apologists Too

In the life of every person there is a defining moment. For the Christian apologist it comes in the form of compromise. As I have read many Christian apologists and as I try and interpret the subtext of their messages I spot some that seem to have compromised the Christian faith they are claiming to defend.

For some its rejecting biblical inerrancy in exchange for some kind of human authority; for some its leaving the biblical moral code for modern culture and all that it gives a person. That little moment is when we are one thing and we exchange it for another. Some think that being a Chameleon in Christian circles keeps one in the good graces of public opinion. But those folks don’t realize there are too many ‘sherlocks’ are out there and if they find you are saying one thing here and another over there, they quickly expose your change of colors and with it damage your reputation.

For me, I recognize Christian apologists get hit hard. If they engage the enemy of their souls for very long, they get scars. The battle rages on and only a few ever make it past the goal post without being tackled by bigger and stronger temptations. What can an apologist do these days? Who can support the category of apologists that have defined themselves as ‘in the know’ scientifically and decided that science and evolutionary theory are right, for them, the earth is very old and dinosaurs, men and animals all lived out their days dying and birthing…until some marked place in time where the actual count down to Christ began. Who can support the apologist that sits ‘in the know’ over his fellow apologists and inwardly laughs at the silliness of inerrancy or perspecuity. These apologists have no authoritative bible, just a bible that ‘other’s follow’ and their credentials concerning biblical texts, grammar, linguistics place them in a position to undermine anyone who believes what is written as it is written. For them, their appeal to a very small company of elite textuaries gives them a modern gnostic-style appeal. New converts only dream of understanding the bible, whereas these professionals dream of not knowing what they know.

The battle rages on, some think presuppositionalism is the end all, others the classical method, for others evidential methodology alone settles the issue with hard facts. Its time we realize we cannot know it all and no matter what methodology we choose, God has a part to play in it. We are wired in various ways, we think differently because we have learned how to arrive at trust-worthy conclusions differently from one another. For some, this potpourri will not suffice because for them it’s a compromise to add or subtract one or more methodologies. This is why Fideism is beat like a step-child by most apologists…yet are not miracles a defining mark of the supernatural God we love and serve? Yes, they would all say, but miracles cannot be easily categorized as doctrine, heresy, principle or philosophy. God’s “at-will” workings fit no mold and for those Christian-Humeans (David Hume thinkers) who reject miracles for lack of evidence it must be hard to read a bible with miracles and promises that “greater works shall you do” when someone in your tribe has declared such power and gifts died with the apostles.

There’s no lack of difficulties today for the apologist. The best most Christian apologists can do is remain faithful to the scripture, remain faithful to their denominations, creeds or confessions, remain faithful to their own logic and philosophy and pray…if they do pray, that God would forgive their stupidity and grant them grace to persevere in the face of little to no help from their own Churches. Why no help from their Churches? Because usually in any congregation there might only be one or maybe three that enjoy apologetics and seek to grow in it in order to be useful to their own congregations and the Church at large. But if there are difficulties, who can empathize with them? Only the Lord Jesus himself. The pastors are usually not interested, besides (what could an apologist know about Christian battles?) the leadership knows the apologist is way past their own basic knowledge of scripture and they know the apologist needing help will recognize the trite and clique’ words they offer to others.

Sometimes the apologist wants to be loved for just being in the battle, he/she wants to be acknowledged as trying to be a front-line soldier, engaging the enemy where he lives and in what he says about Christ, the Church and the scriptures. The apologist might want someone to just care about them.

You see, no matter if you are an apologist and you subscribe to O.E.C. and hold to human authority as the final strength of your argument; or, if you are Y.E.C. you are known for believing a bible that many say you cannot substantiate through science, or you are a believer in the bible, but the bible is not inerrant to you, or you think that there is no hell, or you think miracles are gone the way of the Dodo, as genuine and true believers in Christ ( generalizing the true Christian apologist) you are doing what you can with with God gave you. Every apologist takes his shots from both apologist and  unbelievers. When you go to bed, tired from the battle from unbelievers and being beat on from other believers, the Christian apologist vainly sleeps knowing he has very few friends and even less supporters. A man can even have a wife that cannot fathom why anyone would want to debate, argue, rationalize, study, learn, interpret and weigh out the thoughts of so many enemies to the faith…for no earthly rewards whatsoever. The Christian woman apologist may be in the exact same shoes and even less supporters among her girlfriends. For all the Christian apologist claims to know, he knows very few front line soldiers that don’t mistake him for the enemy.

Apologetic conventions…I’d love to attend one. But you wonder that its a misnomer; Christian apologists are hardly ever pack hunters, they are usually all guerrillas in the spiritual battle.  Ever seen a herd of Christian apologists? Not likely…you can spot a pastoral convention with a hundred cars in the parking lot, you can recognize a gathering of sheep to pray, study scripture or be taught…but try and find an apologist support group and you will run out of gas or ‘gigs’ looking for one.

Christian apologists love to ‘iron sharpens iron’ however, when our fellow apologist come in bloody from the battle, the last thing they need is ‘sharpening’, they need some compassion and some tenderness.

As a Christian Apologist…a 50 cent one…Save your fellow apologists too, not just the angry atheist, the loony cultist or the misguided Christian. Save your Christian apologist, recognize they can be misguided, unbelieving, angry, frustrated, disappointed, hated, misunderstood, rejected and most of all the kind of Christian that other Christians would say “see ya….wouldn’t want to be ya”.

Some Christians dare to stand next to the Christian Apologist and offer pot-shots at enemies to the faith. They laugh and pretend to some sort of superiority because they supposedly know something someone else does not. The investment in real academics for the sake of Christ and the lost does not lead the Christian Apologist to make ‘potshots’ at an enemy of the faith. He knows well, the enemies of the faith do not die from the vitriol of trolls, they die because the Holy Spirit used Spirit directed words to break down the strong-holds within the mind of a sinner. He knows the Spirit of God must do the work only God can do and must do in order for the Apologist’s words to be of any effect at all.

If there was ever an argument for the ‘perfect’ not yet here, the Christian apologist and all they are and do must testify to the imperfections of men. Even with bible in hand, we know in part and we prophecy in part, we see through a glass darkly, though face to face, we do not know as we are known.  We do not live with such knowledge now and those who would dare to claim they hold perfection, that perfection has not taken them or their flocks past partial truth, incomplete knowledge and for certain they cannot foretell a future with unbelief as the signature in black.

 

52 Tips for Apologists

Just a word or two about Apologetics 315. This website is one of the best, I go there often to read up on many issues within Christian Apologetics. It hosts a wide variety of Apologists and Theological positions so you will probably find something there to your liking. This website is a deep mine and if you spend some time there it will yield an abundance of help to you. 

52 Tips for Apologists

by Brian Auten

 

52-tips-for-apologistsThis month marks 5 years of blogging at Apologetics 315. With that in mind, I went back to review a guest post I did with Cloud of Witnesses three years ago to see if the advice I offered then still sounded good to me. The question was: “What advice do you have for those who want to learn more about apologetics?  What kinds of attitudes and character traits should Christians adopt as they use apologetics in conversations with skeptics?”
Here’s was my answer, in 52 Tips for Apologists:
As a learner myself, I am on the lookout for good advice for learning more. My advice to others would vary depending on how involved in apologetics someone wants to get. It is such a wide subject, dealing with theology, philosophy, history, textual criticism, science, culture, evangelism, etc. Everyone is going to have a different level or area of interest, so my advice here is for those who want to learn as much as they can on the subject. Here are the things that I would have told me when I first got interested in apologetics:
‘Like’ The Poached Egg on Facebook!
1. Be first a person of prayer with a goal to know the Lord.
2. Be a continual reader.
3. Know both sides of the issues.
4. Listen to as many good lectures as possible.
5. Listen to every debate you can get your hands on.
6. Learn from the best debaters.
7. Learn from the worst debaters. (what not to do)
8. Find a mentor if you can.
9. Apologetics is not a boxing match; it’s walking along side another in dialogue.
10. You’re not in it to win arguments; you are in it to win people.
11. Be mindful of your spiritual life above your apologetics studies.
12. Allow your apologetics studies to be worship unto the Lord.
13. Your wife doesn’t want to hear about your online debates.
14. Don’t talk about apologetics at the dinner table, unless you are with apologetics buddies.
15. Find like-minded friends to fellowship with and reflect on apologetic issues…
FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO CONTINUE READING >>>
This is a repost from Brian Auten’s website Apologetics 315.