A Review Article -- By: Gregg Strawbridge

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 06:3 (Summer 1997)
Article: A Review Article
Author: Gregg Strawbridge


A Review Article

Gregg Strawbridge

Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith, Greg L. Bahnsen, ed. Robert R. Booth. Atlanta: American Vision (1996). 289 pages, cloth, $14.95.

In my theological mansion are many rooms. Some have been sealed off: “Enter Not,” like the basement room marked, “Higher Criticism.” On the ground floor there is a beautiful library with plush Victorian furniture and mahogany bookcases. First edition (of course) copies of Calvin, Luther, Owen, Edwards, and Spurgeon are book-marked on the table. In one wing of this illustrious mansion there is a long hall with tomes in Latin and Greek lining the walls. Raphael’s fresco, “The School of Athens” (the original, you know, not a reprint) with Plato pointing up and Aristotle, with fingers spread, pointing down overlooks leather-bound volumes of Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas. At the end of the hall there are two adjacent rooms marked “Evidentialism” and “Presuppositionalism,” respectively. Here, I often find myself standing in the hall between the two rooms, looking at the central portraits of B. B. Warfield in the former and Abraham Kuyper in the latter. Recently, I have had occasion to add a new book to the Cornelius Van Til Memorial Bookcase in my Presuppositional Study, Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith, by Greg L. Bahnsen, edited by Robert R. Booth.

If you are filling the bookshelves of these two rooms in your library, this book is a worthy addition. Practically aimed at equipping believers to do apologetics, Bahnsen’s book is a very readable handbook grounded on Van Til’s presuppositional apologetics. 1 Trained in philosophy as an undergraduate, Bahnsen earned M.Div. and Th.M. degrees from Westminster Theological Seminary under Van Til, and

completed a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Southern California. As an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church he served as pastor, teacher, and apologist, vigorously defending the faith in public debates with such atheists as Gordon Stein and Edward Tabash. Due to a congenital heart defect Bahnsen struggled with heart problems and died after surgery on December 11, 1995, at the age of 47.

Bahnsen’s exposition of Van Til’s apologetic methodology is philosophically rigorous, theologically grounded, and biblically intense. The clarion call is 1 Corinthians 1:20: “Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world!” (p. 55). Always Ready equips believers in demonstrating the foolishness of non-Christian thought. This is done in five major sections...

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