Review: Christian Apologetics by Douglas Groothuis

by Michael D. Stark

Christian ApologeticsIf one has even an entry-level knowledge of the field of apologetics, one knows some of the traditional textbooks in which to turn to for study. Norman Geisler’s classic Christian Apologetics still stands strong a few decades after it was first written. J.P. Moreland’s Scaling the Secular City and William Lane Craig’s Reasonable Faith are others that are widely used, and rightly so. The scholarship and wisdom in the books I have just mentioned provide an intellectual analysis of the field of apologetics and how Christians ought to engage with it. Contemporary Christians interested in apologetics can now turn to another text that is bound to become one of the most-used textbooks in apologetics. Douglas Groothuis’ Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith (InterVarsity, 2011), may have more breadth both in content and wisdom than any apologetics text to date. The subtitle is justified as the book, over 700 pages and 26 chapters long (not including two appendixes), presents the need for apologetics and explores the main philosophical arguments for the existence of God. Unlike other apologetics texts, Groothuis includes chapters examining truth in postmodern society, religious pluralism, and a tactful approach to dealing with Islam. Furthermore, biblical scholars (and Denver Seminary colleagues) Richard Hess and Craig Blomberg build on an already strong text by writing chapters on apologetics in the Old Testament (Appendix 2) and a historical approach to the person of Christ and the gospels, respectively.

It is difficult to provide an in-depth chapter-by-chapter review of any textbook, let alone a book that concludes at 752 pages. I will not be so naïve to think I could do such a thing either. Thus, this review will hit on what I believe to be the most important and substantial portions of the book…

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