And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

What Books Should I Read for Apologetics? or Help I Need Answers for Sharing My Faith.

If I have an interest in a specific subject beyond biblical counseling, it would be apologetics.  With our ever shrinking world, it becomes a great relevant urgency for Christians, who study to show themselves knowledgeable, ready to give an answer, to understand apologetics.  This area of learning is simply being well informed and capable to redemptively share their faith while illustrating the infallible truth of scripture.

My family and I have “adopted” international students at our local college from all over the world/  We have had great experiences talking with people from India, Ethiopia, Nigeria, France, and other lands.  Many of these are Catholic, Hindu, Muslim, agnostic. These relationship have served us well to learn many things firsthand.

On a youth retreat this weekend, our speaker Phil Nelson, related that “It is not our job to convert a person (that is what God does) but to share the true God with them.”  I agree.  Charles Wesley said that it was his goal to give everyone a right opinion of God.

During the retreat, Nelson shared a few book titles that ought to be read.  Having those books on my shelf, I today began ruminating through my library to compile an in depth recommended reading list.  Some books are more difficult to read than others. 

Why I am a Christian, John Stott   This book is a great book for thinking. Stott writes very well, and will compel the reader to think through problems beyond a short answer.

Tactics, Gregory Koukl   Sometimes sharing your faith can decompose into circular reasoning that gets nowhere.  In this tome you will find not only wise counsel for dialog, it will also help you to consider the depth of your own beliefs.

Why Good Arguments Often Fail, James Sire   As one of the most readable books discussing how to approach someone in dialog, this book quickly get to the heart of our fears.  Only God can convict a person.  This book will aide in giving you the boldness to trust God to do so, and to do your part.

Mere Christianity, C S Lewis  Simply put, Lewis is a master at thought provoking statements and questions.  This book helps shed the often rebutted legalism that is wrongly attributed to Christianity.  Instead, it illustrates the logical conclusions of a holy loving God at work.

Handbook of Christian Apologetics. Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli.  This book is simply a working reference for answering hard questions.  It will give you a great start to in-depth answers.

Between Heaven and Hell, Peter Kreeft   This book is excellent for nonreaders. It is more of a three person play, all dialoging the philosophy of Christianity, secularism, and eastern religion.  I highly recommend it for nonreaders.

The Dawkins Delusion,  Alister McGrath and Joanna McGrath.  Few writers are like McGrath.  With Richard Dawkins leading the charge of atheism, this book head on confronts his strongest arguments.  If you have read Why Good Arguments Often Fail, or Tactics as mentioned above, this book will show you how they are put into practice.

Darwin On Trial,  Phillip Johnson.  This book is a great insight to the famous teachings of Charles Darwin.  A wonderful primer, which will put the reader way ahead of those who blindly accept his notions.

The Universe Next Door, James Sire   Confronting a belief system that you do not understand?  This book will certainly help.  In an ever shrinking world, we will become confronted and acquainted of people with a wide religious philosophy.  This book helps you understand.

Mere Apologetics,   Alister McGrath   This book is a practical application of theology to your sharing of the faith.  It is simple to follow and it will help you cover all the bases.

The Defense Never Rests, Craig Parton.  Parton, a lawyer, presents his apologetic in a manner the confronts the most objectionable opponents.  It is filled with reason and logic.  It is written for the more advanced student.

The Testimony of the Evangelist, Simon Greenleaf    This book, also written by a lawyer, walks through a discourse of accepted legal deduction to show how the gospels witness with evidence that is acceptable in a court of law, even 2000 years later.

Who Made God, Ravi Zacharis and Norman Geisler Here is another worthy quick reverence book that ought to be handy on your shelf.

The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, Tim Challies   Blogger Challies is adept at pointing out simple truths.  One that must not be overlooked is the deed for Christians to be discerning.  IF we are going to be a credible witness, we must use credible evidence.  This book helps the reader to consider the source when discriminating influences.

A Call For Discernment, Jay Adams     With so many religions and philosophies, even among “Christians”, Adams helps the reader properly question those things presented to him.  Just as we need to have a good apologetic, we must also know how to discern what is apologized to us.

I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Norman Geisler and Frank Turek     If I were to teach a college or high school course on apologetics, this would be the text book.  It covers a wider variety of truth and helps the reader understand why not all things should be accepted.

An Answer to Everyone, Various contributors.    This tome would be the assigned reading for my credit apologetics class. Covering a wide variety of discipline it does prepare the reader for presenting a case for the gospel truth.

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