Every chapter deeper I got into this book the more it exceeded my expectations. Perhaps I expected that since this book is a textbook it would be a little stale, but I would now rate it as valuable as a read as it is a textbook. One reviewer said this book uses the template of Jesus crucified and risen in setting out to defend the faith rather than the Gospel which is used in most cases. That struck me as a non-distinction, which also lowered my anticipation, yet this book has effectively surveyed the past, brought us to the present, and stayed true to the Word of God.
The first section laid the foundation for apologetics in four chapters. That includes definitions, proof texts, examination of various approaches, and a fine review of the history of apologetics. These chapters teach us much, start the ball rolling on our grasping apologetics, and enlighten us on the successes and failures of apologists in the past. There’s also much to learn about how the culture at the time affected how apologetics was done.
The next section digs into theology in relation to apologetics in five chapters. Another pass is taken on the various approaches of apologetics so that we might glean what is good from each one. You will learn how far various methods can go, and where they might let you down in dealing with another person. I felt the chapters were ideal in helping pull out what was best from what apologists of the past have done. There’s also much emphasis on our living out our faith as a key in apologetics. I fear that is too often missed. In this theological section, apologetics are brought to the foot of the cross. Important information like how our sin nature corrupts human reason, our unrealistic expectations, and the absolute necessity of humility in apologetics. We are also taught to look at the whole person which will use reason to aim at the mind but will also look at the heart, or the whole of the person.
The final section looks at the practice of apologetics in four chapters. These chapters had brilliant insights into our age. What we call postmodernism, they call late modernism, but in any event, our times create new challenges in apologetics. The incredible amount of spin that goes on in our culture makes people think that our presentation of the Gospel is but our attempt to spin the facts to gain something from them. The authors give wonderful suggestions on how to deal with that difficulty in the most effective way. Kindness and humility are still essential.
There’s no doubt that this book beautifully succeeds in its advertised goal of being a quality textbook. To my mind, it too would win out as one of the best possible books for us to have to use in our own study of apologetics. I guarantee you it will be one of the first ones that I will reach for!
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.