Sunday, August 14, 2011

Book Review: Christian Apologetics by Douglas Groothuis

Douglas Groothuis. (2011) Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.



You know, I had decided that this week I would post a quote from Doug Groothuis’ new textbook Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (2011) but I have decided to do more than that; this is a review.

Now I am not yet a professor (though that is my plan) but perhaps as a budding Apologist for the Christian faith, and a lover of the “love of Wisdom” my advice might be useful to others in the positions I would like to someday hold.

This is a wonderful, thought provoking text; and this textbook has been worth the wait…there is chapter after chapter of discussion enabling reading that I believe will enliven any classroom. There is room for nods of agreement and moments of hand-raising questions, and areas of disagreement and continued discussion. I could come up with a host of challenging questions to throw out to a classroom in each chapter…and it highlights areas I’d like to do further reading in my own studies.

And as I planned to, here is a quote from the introduction that will give you a “taste” of what you can look forward to in this text. Douglas Groothuis writes:

What if hope cannot extend beyond human endeavor itself and is never answered by anything beyond it? What if the millennia of human cries echo only into the empty sky and not further? That possibility must be faced if the quest itself is to have any meaning. In the end, hope without truth is pointless. Illusions and delusions, no matter how comforting or grandiose, are the enemies of those who strive for integrity in their knowing and being. Statements such as “I like to think of the universe as having a purpose” or “The thought of an afterlife gives me peace” reflect mere wishes. These notions do not address the truth or falsity of there being purpose in the world or of our postmortem survival, because there is no genuine claim to knowledge: a warranted awareness of reality as it is. A hearty, sturdy and insatiable appetite for reality—whatever it might be—is the only engine for testing and discerning truth. (p.16)


And that gives an idea of the caliber of writing you have to look forward to while reading this text.

Chapters include topics such as: “The Biblical Basis for Apologetics” and “The Christian World View” in Part One, “The Ontological Argument” and “Origins, Design and Darwinism” in Part Two, and finally in Part Three chapters on “Religious Pluralism” and “Apologetics and the Challenge of Islam” and of course a chapter on “The Problem of Evil.”

I have not given you the complete table of contents, but you can get an idea of the topics covered.

As I have found with Doug’s other books; this is a challenging, but enjoyable read…which is rare in a classroom textbook.

And if you were wondering, no I haven’t finished reading the whole text…at 731 pages at the end of the bibliography; I can’t read that fast…but I will finish the whole thing…promise.

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