Most introductions to apologetics begin with the "how to" of defending the faith, diving right into the major apologetic arguments and the body of evidence. For those who want a more foundational look at this contested theological discipline, Thinking about Christian Apologetics: What It Is and Why We Do It examines Christian apologetics in its nature, history, approaches, objections and practice. What is apologetics? How has apologetics developed? What are the basic apologetic approaches? Why should we practice apologetics? Countless Christians today are seeking a responsible way to defend and commend their faith. If you are one them, Thinking about Christian Apologetics is the place to start.
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Review 1 for Thinking About Christian Apologetics: What It Is and Why We Do It
Right book for the right reader
Date:December 25, 2011
Thinking About Christian Apologetics is a bit of a deviation from most books out today concerning Christian apologetics. Instead of providing any sort of actual apologetic argument, James Beilby's book aims to discuss the essence, history, and purposes behind apologetics as well as the author's advice on future actions the church should take regarding the defense of the faith. It is meant to be text for college level introductory classes to apologetics and is somewhat reminiscent of what you would find in an intro to philosophy of religion book. Although Bielby states that the book is meant to be an introduction, it is quite clear within the first couple of chapters that the reader requires, at minimum, a current basic understanding of theological and philisophical themes and concepts (i.e. basic tenets of reformed theology or postmodernism).
I think the most helpful review would be to list reasons I believe you would want to read this book, and then maybe a couple of reasons why it may not be what you're looking for.
Read this book if: 1. You are relatively new to the study of apologetics 2. You wonder why some of the books on apologetics you have read seem to contradict one another 3. You question whether or not you (or Christians in general) should be engaging in apologetics 4. You want to know how the faith has been defended throughout church history 5. You have heard of Karl Barth, Soren Kierkegaard, or Blaise Pascal, but don't know what they did 6. You want a great resource to help you decide where to look next in your study of apologetics
Maybe check out something else if: 1. You are wanting to proactively argue for the legitimacy of Christianity 2. You are wanting to defend against accusations against Christianity 3. You are new to the topics of postmodernism or reformed theology 4. You are looking for a heart-warming devotional
Beilby's book is a good reference, but for the right reader. This is not something you would ordinarily pick up unless you plan to continue in a more in-depth study of apologetics.