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

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Darwinism and Intelligent Design Book Review

DARWINISM AND INTELLIGENT DESIGN

I fully enjoyed reading this work by Jonathan Wells Ph.D. The focus of the book is to deliver a fair hearing to the reader of the validity of I.D Intelligent Design theory. Jonathan points out the many difficulties I.D. has in moving forward as a legitimate methodology within science to discover design. The book also goes to fair lengths to expose the dirty-Darwinist and his tricks to keep I.D from the minds of people. There are no lack of cronies that are willing to do anything in order to maintain the status-quo of Evolution; when this status quo is threatened out comes the fangs and claws in order to vilify I.D, the scientists or anyone that could possibly kill the flow of funds to a dying and doomed evolutionary theory. The P.I.G. book pulls no punches in regards to provoking the reader to anger at the Darwinist. Its not that Jonathan is railing from one page to another, its the expose’ of rage from the Darwinist that reveals their not-so-scientific proof of Evolution cannot stand much scrutiny. The chief method of making sure Evolution Theory stays in the forefront of people thinking is to silence any other voices that expose Evolution as the biggest pseudo-science philosophy to be propagated since the flat-earth. When good evidence is lacking, attack the Christian as a loon, anti-scientific bible-basher that is illiterate and illogical. The method is vilify the Christian and persecute any scientist that has the decency to willing listen to the other side.

From Colleges to High schools to Churches the methodology of science has a-priori dismissed God and design as though God is against science. But we all know that God is not against science, man is against science and Jonathan Wells proves that the scientist is not always seeking to learn the truth about the world he lives in; rather, we see that in the case of Darwinism it is about money=funding, mind-control=schools and teaching, anti-religious agenda=keeping Christianity out of the conversation about science. All of this betrayal of supposed open-mindedness to learning reveals what Christians have said over and over again since the beginning

Rom 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
Rom 1:19  For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
Rom 1:20  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Rom 1:21  For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Rom 1:22  Claiming to be wise, they became fools,

This very explanatory section of Romans declares the real problem with Darwinist and skeptics, “Its not that they don’t know about God, its that they don’t want God and therefore disapprove of him”

Jonathan goes on to show just how I.D really works and how it is not a religious or Christian “back-door” into science to destroy Evolution. It is a methodology of discovering design in the things that are studied in the name of science. If no design is there, then there is none. No God-of-the-gaps insertions, no forcing the issues by inserting theology in the place of good scientific investigation. So far from killing science it opens the possibility of understanding the created world we see. I know I know I used the dreaded word ‘created’ and that’s what the anti-religious scientific community doesn’t want to hear. But that’s the benefit of learning isn’t it? Learning that God is not against science and neither are Christians who appreciate knowledge and learning about this present world. Instead of isolating science from Christians and everyone else, it integrates the physical world that can be known from true and good scientific research and the true and good theological truth that transcends natural boundaries. This integration is everyday contained within the human mind and soul, its the backwards and ignorant assumptions of skepticism and Atheism that lock science into a closet, or theology into a closet to forever demand they never meet. This mindset is old enlightenment thinking that has long since worn out its welcome and now needs to make a quick exit.

Of course this synthesis of Theology and Natural sciences is the dread of the present state of skepticism and agnosticism. To them, its a war that must not be lost, otherwise their skepticism and Atheism will translate into “ignoring the obvious”; science will show the validity of a transcendent designer is justified to accept. The skeptic will no longer be able to justly hold on to their skepticism just as they claim now that Christians ignore the science behind Evolution. Jonathan did not go into details about the synthesis, but he made a great argument for I.D and showed that the anti-I.D community are doing so at the expense of their credibility in years to come. This of course does not mean the skeptic will not find another avenue to escape this conclusion, its just that its hard to do with design staring them in the face in terms of hard evidence.

This is of course why the gospel is so necessary, without it the skeptic has no hope of finding God.
Seeing a designer in creation doesn’t save the man, it only introduces him to what he has already known but denied by other means.

Buy the book, or like I did find it used in a book store and bought it out of curiosity. It was a great buy and well worth the read. Jonathan Wells is not a reviler, he is not demanding an unfair hearing, he is in fact the genuine article and that will be seen in time to come. I believe God will vindicate I.D. and scientists in time to come will have to admit the necessity of design in order to advance our culture. The scientists of the day who demand Philosophical Naturalism will eventually be proven wrong and embarrassingly denounced by their peers in time to come as ‘snake-oil’ pushers of the era.

By Marvin Torgeson

Tactics by Greg Koukl Book Review

TACTICS by Greg Koukl BOOK REVIEW

TACTICS  a game plan for discussing your Christian convictions
Publisher Zondervan 207 pages.
Gregory Koukl MA. Apologetics, Philosophy

Greg Koukl wrote a well done manual on how to engage people without turning the encounter into what he calls D-Day. The first couple chapters deal with getting Christians to realize debate, arguing, reasoning about someones beliefs that are opposed to theirs is not a bad thing. Greg tries to get the Christian away from fears and anxiety about flubbing the whole encounter and embarrassing themselves. I believe he does this by what comes next in Chapter 3 the Columbo tactic. Many of our young apologists will not remember Lt. Columbo from the TV series. It might even be worth the time to YouTube or Netflix an episode or two and see what Greg is talking about regarding the manner which Lt. Columbo uses to engage suspects.

Greg wants other Christians to chose his ‘modest goal’ that is to simply put a ‘stone in the shoe’; meaning he wants to get them thinking about their own failed views and think about why Christianity is defeating them.  Chapter 2 on Reservations deals with many of the mis-givings Christians have about engaging the non-believers outside of a few bible quotes. Greg does well to throw down that kind of pseudo-spirituality in my opinion.
One of the most important tactics is to engage people without making them angry. Seek to speak in such tones and ask questions in such ways that pulls down the chances the Christian might offend. The truth itself is offensive to the carnal mind and there is no way around that, but Greg is training us to engage people so that ‘we’ are not offensive.

Almost a third of the book is dedicated to the first portion of the game plan. The Columbo tactic is the primary way in which Greg engages people. He moves through getting in the drivers seat which helps you get control of the conversation. Afterwards he deals with burden of proof so that the unbeliever must carry his burden of proof openly rather than hiding them in assumptions. Leading the way is another section that will help you guide people to understand that hidden assumptions cannot shield them from truth.

Asking questions and learning about what the other person knows and affirms and what proof they have for their knowledge helps you to engage the person at their level, discussing things they claim to know. This is what is called drawing-them-out into the open. The heart of good apologetics is getting the non-Christian or dissenting Christian to voice their opinions with clarity. It gives us the opportunity to learn something we didn’t know as well as recognize flaws that are fatal to their truth-claims. Perfecting Columbo is a great chapter on how to deal with someone who is versed in questioning like you are. Greg helps us here to avoid getting stuck and put into a corner and forced to answer questions that lead into an ambush.

The second section deals with recognizing the fatal flaws in a persons argument. Greg spends the remainder of the book dealing with Suicide views, Greg goes through a comical section explaining the way suicide views work and if were honest we get shot down ourselves because we have all made this same kind of error.
There are many suicidal views that appear from other religions, science, philosophy, logic. All of these take the form of arguments against Christianity or Christ and Greg helps us to spot the form of them and turn these flaws against the dissenters. Taking the roof off is one of my favorites, Greg calls it reductio ad absurdum
it means reducing the argument to absurdity. The whole point is not to embarrass or demean the person, but to get them to recognize their flaws and how it is the Christian perspective is a better approach. Greg also deals with the Steam roller, a person who personality wise runs over you with temperament and verbiage  Then the Rhodes scholar who appears to know his subject but after questioning is shown to have piece-meal his arguments to support a bias.

Overall the book is excellent and well worth the read. Many of these things will seem obvious to skilled Apologist debaters, but there are so many tips the book can sharpen anyone’s skills. The final 8 quick tips are excellent and should be followed. This book helps me immensely and I appreciate Greg writing these things down for others to learn.