Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
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Reasons for Our Hope: An Introduction to Christian Apologetics. H. Wayne House and Dennis W. Jowers. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2011. 464 pages. $39.99.
During the former fundamentalist liberal controversies, the renowned Princeton theologian, J Gresham Machen cautioned conservatives of his day that “False ideas are the greatest obstacles to the reception of the gospel [because Christianity is portrayed as nothing] more than a harmless delusion.” (J Gresham Machen, “Christianity and Culture” in the Princeton Theological Review 11 , 7). He warned that ministry leaders must not retreat to anti-intellectualism, sheer pragmatism or philosophical intellectualism. The term apologetics is derived from the Greek noun apologia and verb apologeomai which emphasize the sense of defending or vindicating oneself and/or truth claim. This text, Reasons for Our Hope is fine example of the biblical meaning and practice of apologetics in today’s ministry environment.
The text embodies a balanced approach to defending the truth of Christianity without retreating to mean spirited rhetoric, pragmatism or philosophical intellectualism. In part one of the book, the authors profile current approaches to apologetic methods and various systems. They address such topics as “how do we know truth” or “how to distinguish the differences between faith and reason.” They also address “natural theology” and discuss “categories of apologetics.” Part two of this fine text surveys how the authors of Scripture utilized apologetics. They also provide a balanced historical discussion of how the early church fathers, medieval theologians (middle age), the Reformers, and contemporary theologians utilize apologetics. Part three of the book addresses more specific issues such as “skepticism and its cure” and “the problem of evil” and “the uniqueness of Christianity” and “physical resurrection of Christ,” etc. Part four of the book contains a refreshing reminder of how to use apologetics today. In this section, the authors provide five separate chapters describing how to engage five different non-Christian groups
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today. These chapters entail engaging the “cultist, the secularist, the Postmodernist, the Muslim, and New Age Mysticism.
The book is written by two very fine evangelical, conservative Christian leading scholars in non-technical language and is very readable. It is well indexed with both subjects and scripture references. I highly recommend the book for pastors, ministry leaders, and believers who desire to articulate their belief system in sharing Christ.
Reviewed by Dr. David Mapp...
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