Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Reasonable Response by William Lane Craig and Joseph E. Gorra

This is not the kind of book on apologetics I was expecting. I was expecting, based on the promotion of the book, answers to questions non-Christians ask.

But that is not the case. Many, if not most, of the questions included here are from Christians. Many questions refer to arguments Craig has made, either in print (books or articles), debates, or something like that. Many of the questions originate from a misunderstanding of something previously published by Craig. Many of the answers given clarify and defend the soundness of arguments found elsewhere in Craig's works. Some of the questions asked are two pages long, one is nearly three pages long (138-141) and another four (242-246), so these are not simple questions. Some of Craig's answers are seven or eight pages long so, again, not simple issues.

In order to appreciate this book, the reader must be familiar with apologetic methods, the rules of logic, the arguments of Plantinga (such as his theory of religious knowledge), positivism, metaphysical necessity, different theories of ethics, and so on.

This is a book for people who do apologetics, study apologetics, write about apologetics, compare apologetic methods, and want to understand the nuances of apologetics. It is for people who want to understand how Craig answers questions and his use of logic. It is not a book for the average layman who wants to know how to talk across the fence to the unsaved neighbor next door.

That being said, there are some questions that would be beneficial for the general layman, such as the question dealing with how we can know the gospels are reliable. (99) Another concerns the extra-biblical sources support Jesus' death, burial and resurrection. (110) The best way to approach the book is to skim the questions and stop at ones that are of particular interest.

The questions are divided into six sections: questions about knowing and believing what is real, about God, about origins and meaning of life, about afterlife and evil, about Jesus and being His disciple, and about issues of Christian practice. In the introductory comments to each section is a list of resources divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. There is also an Appendix at the end with helps for using the book in a small group setting.

You can find out more about William Lane Craig and his ministry at www.reasonablefaith.org.

Moody, 432 pages. The publisher's product page.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book for the purpose of this review.

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